So I freaked out yesterday. Something that if my husband witnessed, he would refer to for many years to come as "an episode". I've had a few episodes in our twelve and a half years of marriage, and from time to time he likes to reference them in casual conversation--something I don't so much appreciate. Probably because it is my flesh at it's worse and I kind of pride myself on maintaining my cool in crisis situations, which is probably my first mistake. You see my mom has had some pretty serious health issues which has added a lot to my already full plate. It's been somewhat horrifying to confront the thoughts that run through my head as I get a glimpse of my future taking care of an aged parent sooner than I would have expected. She is going to be fine, but the truth of the matter is that I selfishly want her to be fine and independent forever--a reality that doesn't exist. She will get older and I will be the one to care for her. On top of that I have a husband that has struggled with chronic health issues for seven years, and when his debilitating symptoms rear their ugly head, I will occasionally have horrible thoughts of being alone and raising my four boys alone while the man I love more than anything wastes away in a chair.
Consequently, as those two very blaring realities collided while Lucas "the Freak" dog was being entirely too naughty and the 'to do' list juxtaposed to the ongoing bank balance crisis was spinning in my head, tears streaming down my face I sat in my car insulated by glass and a nice big garage-- and screamed. I mean I really lost it. I guess I was screaming at God. In that moment I very much wanted Jesus to appear on the hood of my car. I wanted physical contact with Him, to see what I envision as a sweet calm expression looking back at me. I wanted Him to grab me by the hand and gently lead me inside and heal all the brokenness. That of course did not happen so I continued on to the grocery store to pick up some prescriptions and a few ingredients for the cooking project I had planned on doing.
Now, I am not an ambitious cook. I like to cook and at one point, early in my marriage, I had a small obsession with Martha Stewart and Williams-Sonoma. That has faded as the number of my children has grown and the size of my expendable income has shrunk, but recently I have had my desire to create something more that fancier Macaroni & Cheese or a healthier chicken nugget grow. Mostly because I have been surrounded by people who truly love to cook. Not only do they love to cook but they love me and my family even though we are almost always in some sort of needy state that can't be fixed. This crazy conglomeration of humanity has poured themselves out onto my family in a way I could have never imagined.
So before the episode occurred yesterday morning I had planned on making Potato Knishes after being inspired by a friend who has a very cool food blog. You see, she and I both have husbands rooted in Judaism and she made some Matzo Ball soup to honor that side of her family, her post made me realize how much I miss good Jewish food. Living back East there is not a shortage of great Jewish Deli's and my mother-in-law is a great cook, but the Beehive State is somewhat lacking in this category of fine food.
I know this story is a little round about, but I do have a point and that point is that even though I had not recovered from my "episode" fully as I began to prepare these tasty little 'buns' filled with potatoes, as I peeled the potatoes, cooked the onions, kneaded the dough and prepared the egg wash I felt renewed. I pressed my frustration into that dough and imagined the ancestors of my husband and their suffering. I connected to, in real time, what I have been studying in Exodus. God calling His people, pulling them out of their suffering, not taking it away fully but still calling them His. Giving them His law and His way of doing things and allowing them to be apart of it regardless of their flesh, their episodes and their doubt. I was comforted by the promise that in my messed up, all to human state, that I too am called by Him. I made comfort food.
into my kitchen, that I could have poured him some $9 wine and served him a delicious Knish with gravy and cried. But instead my boys came home from school and gobbled them all up--a little to my surprise. Yesterday sucked on one level, I felt totally out of control, my mind went to dark places but my cries were heard and prayers were answered, stories for another day.
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Monday, April 25, 2011
I wonder how it felt to see Jesus on that dusty road to Emmaus?
To say you knew Him when He walked among us?
To see Him whole and perfect standing on that road
I wonder about and envy, those who got to see
To hear His voice and see His face--the man from Galilee.
I wonder how it felt to see Jesus, to share some fish and wine with God?
To touch His hands and see His side and hear Him say those words.
They say, that even then, some did not believe.
Do you think He touched them gently and His love they did receive?
Did Mary weep and hug her friend knowing it was true?
That God did so love the world and chose to enter in,
To put on flesh and be betrayed because of our own sin.
I wonder if birds sang more beautiful than before?
If the sun shone brighter on that desert lakeside shore?
If hands did grasp and hearts did gasp as He called them all his friends.
Do you think they even thought about this New Kingdom lens?
I wonder how you respond to such amazing love?
To understand that God did leave his throne above,
To walk down that broken road and carry His own cross,
To die for you and pay the price so you would not be lost.
Does it make you want to love your neighbor and with those you don’t agree?
I pray our eyes are open to those we do not see.
I pray that from our eyes all those scales would soon fall
Our hearts would change, our minds renewed---to give our love to all.