Tag Archives: food

Mmm, Tastes Like A Story

19 Jul

I really, really like food. I mean, who doesn’t?
Food is so much more than sustaining, surviving.
It is also more than temporary pleasure.

The best food tells a story.

I mean, that’s what it’s all about right?

Food and drink, together-ness.


I love how Jesus fed people with physical food to represent the spiritual nutrition they were receiving.

Bread and wine and receiving life in Him.

Fish for breakfast and speaking how all things were now new.

Food and story go hand-in-hand.

The other day I made some  Chinese dumplings for lunch.

I dipped them in soy sauce mixed with ginger.

They invoked a memory, a story.

A tiny upper room in one of my last days in Urumqui, Western China.
Following a new friend through mad, winter-y, chaotic streets as night was approaching.

An introduction,
“This is my family,”

A kind, shy woman.

Small boys with big almond eyes, brown hair, tan skin, giggling.

“You are the first people from US they have seen.”

The kind woman gently placed three bowls on the floor where we sat cross-legged on a beautiful blanket. A tapestry hung on the bare wall, color and design.

I had eaten so many type of dumplings the past couple months,

Pork, chicken, fish, shrimp, vegetable, some undefinable meat. A thousand types.

Dumplings are good luck for the New Year. I spent Chinese New Year in an apartment with another girl on the other side of the country laughing as another kind mother attempted to teach this western girl how to make dumplings, and I failed. Completely.

“We cannot eat yours, it is bad luck if they fall apart!”

That night, I sat alone of the rooftop of our hotel and watched the sky light up with fireworks, more bright and colorful and numerous then I have ever seen before or since then.
I smiled at the two giggling boys and the shy mother and took a bite. The pungent, strong flavor of lamb I was so accustomed to after spending time in the west, mixed with the delicate home-y taste of sweet potato.

I grinned.
“Tell your mother, I have eaten a lot of dumplings while in China, and these are the best ones so far!”

Our friend translated and the mother blushed and smiled. I felt so much love for these people, this minority group of Turkic descent bared no resemblance to the “typical” Chinese in appearance, religion, or culture.

Our friend proudly showed us her family’s copy of the Koran, one of the few possessions in the small room.

“This is to us what your bible is to you.” She said proudly.

After dinner and good byes, she led us back through the dark, cold streets to our hotel.

There, we talked. Our friend picked up the bible written in Chinese and English I had been carrying across the country with me, wondering who I should give it to.

She began to read,

“In the beginning, God created the heaven’s and earth…”

For the first time, she read our story.
What food tells a story for you?

From Starvation to Drunken Joy

13 Nov

It’s hard to swallow sometimes
the sweet liquid that You are enough
it burns my pride as it cures it

but when I get pills stuck in my throat
(self-made medicine
from a factory in my heart
in that smoggy part that doesn’t fully believe)

I can see no other alternative
and I wouldn’t want to

truth is too delicious

because there is no cure
other than Your bread and wine

and that is my sustenance
and my drunken joy

I’ve tried  to get meat
bloody and rare
left overs from an altar somewhere

but it’s a carcass filled with maggots
I  couldn’t see that because I was
so busy counting up
what I thought I owed you

so bent on a payment plan that
I sold my last bit of grain to the poor
only for it to be lost in transport

it was only then
in my feverish aches
in my grand delusions
in my starving hallucinations
that I could somehow provide
what I needed to survive

I finally collapsed and saw
my bloated belly
and emaciated face

(and I knew I was one of them too)

I knew that the grocery stores were empty
I knew that the garden was dead
I knew that the store houses were rotting

only then was I able to be fed

carried to a feast, a banquet, a buffet
endless and guiltless and always mine

because there is no cure
other than then Your bread and wine

and that is my sustenance
and my drunken joy

“The Reformation was a time when men went blind, staggering drunk because they had discovered, in the dusty basement of late medievalism, a whole cellarful of fifteen-hundred-year-old, two-hundred-proof grace-of bottle after bottle of pure distillate of Scripture, one sip of which would convince anyone that God saves us single-handedly. The word of the gospel-after all those centuries of trying to lift yourself into heaven by worrying about the perfection your bootstraps-suddenly turned out to be a flat announcement that the saved were home before they started…Grace has to be drunk straight: no water, no ice, and certainly no ginger ale; neither goodness, nor badness, nor flowers that bloom in the spring of super spirituality could be allowed to enter into the case.”

-Robert Capon, Between Noon and Three (as quoted in Brennan Manning’s, The Ragamuffin Gospel)

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