"God showed me something small, no bigger than a hazelnut, lying in the palm of my hand… and it was round as a ball. I looked at it with the eye of my understanding and thought: 'What can this be?' And it was generally answered thus: 'It is all that was made.' It was so small I thought it might disappear, but I was answered... everything has being through the love of God." --Julian of Norwich

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Food and Me

My blog has been neglected and I've been trying to think of a good, interesting topic to get it going again.  Recently, the thing that has made me so excited I'm ready to jump up and down and smile at everyone and tell them life is wonderful has been food.  Specifically, reading about, studying, making, and enjoying food.  The cleaning up part is not quite as much fun, but I do feel that it is a means of grace in my life.  (Yes, I just subtly compared dish-washing to a sacrament, a way to meet God.  It's not such a stretch: as Kathleen Norris points out in The Quotidian Mystery dish-washing is an integral part of the Communion in Roman Catholic services.)

And so, in the next few weeks I would like to write about food.  Now, I'm fully aware that there are five million and one food blogs out there.  I'm going to try to go deeper than just sharing recipes.  Recipes are nice and helpful and a good way to connect with friends across the miles (since I always think of you with love when I use a recipe that I got from you and I do use your recipes!).  But I'd like to reflect spiritually on the food that I'm thinking about and planning and making and eating.  What do my food choices (about health, sustainability, etc.) mean about my relationship to God's creation?  What does the work that we put into (or don't put into) our food mean?  Does it matter if I eat with other people or stuff my face with toast while walking to class?  Basically, does God care about what I eat and how I eat it?

I think that I'll attempt to answer these questions by keeping a food diary which describes not only what I'm eating (though I'm sure you all care deeply about my diet ;) ) but my thoughts, feelings, and perceptions as I encounter food.  I hope that this does sound at least vaguely interesting to you. 

A lot of these thoughts (but not all of them) will be connected to a wonderful and unique Regent College course known fondly around these parts as "the Food Course."  On May 30th, Clint and I will be taking the ferry to Galiano Island to live on our professors' farm for two weeks with a community of 20-odd other people.  I have one week before the course in which to finish (and reflect on) a copious amount of food-related readings, then we will be on the course for two weeks, then I will have two weeks to wrap up my coursework before other summer classes claim my life. 

I bet in those 5 weeks I could write at least seventeen 500-word entries reflecting on food before Friday, June 25:  background to my relationship with food, reflections on my food experiences through the course, and a little bit of the kind of thinking I'm doing for my final paper (but I won't bore you with the whole thing, unless you demand to know).  Why seventeen entries?  I want to be accountable to actually finish (unlike my long-promised final post on Twilight and God), so I'll set myself a number and a due date.  I do like numbers with sevens in them, but more so it averages out to about 3 entries a week, just about the right number to keep you interested but not too overwhelmed, with two added in for good measure.  Why 500 words?  To keep it short, which is an art.

I'll get started on entry #1 in the next few days.  I think I'll call it "Cornography..."


  1. Brilliant! I can't wait to read it all. I've been confronted lately with food as sacred vs. sinful, and it's not always gluttony vs. fasting either. I'm looking forward all of them. :-)

  2. Hey Matt! What is this about sacred v. sinful food? What has got you thinking? I'd love to hear more.