Can you believe July is almost gone?! Here we are, half way through summer, and I have been completely lazy! So much for cleaning, organizing and purging the house. And you, my friend? Have you accomplished all your summer time goals? Have you enjoyed the fruits of your labours? If you follow along on my social sites (please do!) then you will see our garden tour and the little harvest we have been enjoying. The rest? Not so much. However, such is the journey, so I will not fret.
Recently, we have also enjoyed a few backyard bar-b-ques with friends and family. It’s a good, Canadian thing to do in our short summer months… burgers on the grill, potato chips and watermelon. Which makes me wonder: Why do we enjoy shooing bugs off edibles all in the name of celebrating scorching heat? Whole other muse, I suppose. But. We have indulged in our fair share of shooing this summer already.
Which brings me to this week’s muse. A book review for “Taste and See” by Margaret Feinberg. Hoping to “discover God among Butchers, Bakers and Fresh Food Makers”, I devoured the book in about 2 days straight. It’s a quick read. Margaret takes us on her journeys (literally — she travels) to discover more about six of the foods Feinberg says have “spiritual significance” in the Bible: fish, figs, bread, salt, olives and lamb.
I quite enjoyed the journey, and each chapter brought on a whole new appreciation for the basic biblical staples. I especially loved the bread baking tour… my adventures with sour dough have given me a whole new appreciation for the art of baking and how complicated bread actually is! It would be an excellent small group study. Especially if you are a foodie! I encourage you to visit Feinberg’s sites (here) should you wish to see more about the book.
I love food. Which can be a curse and a blessing, but that, too, is for a different muse. I was eager to slice open the book and taste the adventure of the Israeli staples, and Feinberg’s insights into how the Bible uses food as a way in which God nourishes us… more than just physically. He wants to “…nourish our souls with transcendent joy and supernatural community and divine presence.” (pg. 22). Plus, there are recipes!
I’ve been learning and growing and thinking about this whole idea of “wholistic” spirituality…mind, body, soul, community. I often don’t take the time to consider how great food is a part of this. Can you image what a piece of chocolate is going to be like in heaven? Or what it will be like to have a cup of coffee with Jesus? Or bar-b-ques with the master priests of old? (okay maybe not that one… they tended to burn everything).
But you get it… God gave us this wonderful commodity and diversity of tastes to enjoy ! And sharing meals with others is a way to bond us in community, in conversation, and in care. I am reminded that we should always be thankful for such blessings. I am learning to take a deeper look at the bounty before me and the things it represents. Land, weather, growth of tiny seeds. Hard work, passion, patience. We take it for granted and mock His blessings with our “God is goods” and “Johnny Appleseed” prayers.
I’m about to clean out our fridge. My son just informed me the last bag of milk has curdled. We are having leftovers for dinner. I am not the next home cook about to be drafted for Master Chef … but this book has been a good reminder to “Taste and See” that God is good, His mercies endure forever, and He is the master of my world. I pray that you, too, will be welcomed to his banquet table with others and share in the community of Jesus followers, as we shoo a few flies away together at the picnic table this summer!