A Voice in the Shadowlands


Most people who know me can affirm two things. 1-M@ loves food and 2-M@ is a bit ADHD.

Which, being translated, means that I love to eat, but I tend to move a lot while doing it. This is probably the sole reason I don’t weigh 400 pounds. My favorite part of eating, though, is the first bite, especially a dish I’ve never had before. You take a bite and let it roll over your tongue. You try it out on every part of your tongue and stop for a bit before swallowing. If it’s a dish you really enjoy, this is the point where you perform your happy dance. Then you are faced with a choice: Do you slowly eat the dish, making this euphoria of the palate last as long as possible? or do you, instead, fall upon the dish like a starving concentration camp victim led to an all-you-can-eat buffet? (This is where I am usually horribly torn – I want to enjoy it but I also want to utterly consume the deliciousness and have it inside me.)

I can hear you now…where are you going with this? Glad you asked…

Our Sunday School class has started…is starting…I’m a little confused on the timing at the moment, a study on savoring Jesus Christ. While at first my brain went to a divine form of cannibalism, I have to admit I do enjoy the idea. For me, savoring is a taste experience. The Bible is full of food (the good and the weird) so the word taste comes up often, but taste is not only for food. The Old and New Testaments both tell us that if you just give God a taste you’ll find that he is good. Jesus and others talk about tasting death or compare experiencing the Kingdom like sitting down to a banquet. I love this. It brings up lots of images for me and they pack a lot more punch than just saying, ‘You’ll die.’ I particularly like the image of a parent feeding a little kid something new. You can’t blame a kid for being skeptical of baby food. The stuff looks weird. So the parents resort to cajoling, begging, and turning spoons into airplanes to get the kid to eat. The parent knows that, if the kid gives it a try, strained peaches will light the kid’s world up in a way they’ve never experienced before. I’ve watched younger cousins’ eye food with trepidation, grudgingly give the food a try and then work it in their mouths like a senior citizen who’s missing their dentures until BAM! they find out that not only do they like it…they LIKE it. They don’t like it because they were told they would. They know they like it because they jumped into it and permanently stained their bib that weird color strained peaches have.

I love that the Bible encourages us to explore our relationships with God. We’re told to dance, sing, shout, cry, groan, rest, and so much more. It’s deeper than reading. It’s deeper than just listening. It’s diving in, rolling around in the mud and getting dirty with it. To a big kid who has a hard time sitting still, this is encouraging to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love thinking. I love a good mental argument and we can reach new depths of understanding through that. If I were totally honest with myself, though, I would have to admit that the times when I have the greatest A-Ha! moments and felt the nearest to God was when I abandoned any inhibitions I had and decided to go for the full experience (Would that be the Stanislavski method of Christianity?). Those are the moments, too, when I find myself having a dark night of the soul that I wrap up in to keep warm.

I realize that I don’t do this like I should. I’m sure no one does. I’m hoping, if nothing else, the study will encourage me or give me new ways to play with and get to know Big Papa better, though.



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