TASTE & SEE

It’s Saturday morning.  I finally feel the space to simply be rather than do.  And so I make homemade bread.

There is something about the slow place of bread making that is rejuvenating to my soul.  As I smell the earthy yeast; knead and shape the soft, silky dough; and create something beautiful out of a pile of flour and salt – my senses invite the fragmented parts of my life back into the wholeness that I can always find through the doorway of my kitchen.

In The Supper of the Lamb, Robert Farrar Capon writes, “To be sure, food keeps us alive, but that is only its smallest and most temporary work.  Its eternal purpose is to furnish our sensibilities against the day when we shall sit down at the heavenly banquet and see how gracious the Lord is.  Nourishment is necessary only for a while; what we shall need for ever is taste.”

Bread making as the dawn light spills into my quiet kitchen on a lazy Saturday morning invites me to “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Psalm 34:8

Then one by one, my family wakes up.

There was a time when I would have felt irritated by this abrupt interruption of my solace.  But such it the dichotomy of contemplative bread making for a household of boys.  The joy of making food and the disrupting presence of the people I cook for are intertwined gifts that cannot be separated.  Both are rooted in love, and they depend on each other.  There is no joy in cooking without the people I love to feed, and the people I feed will always add their needs and preferences into my day.  God is continually growing my heart to hold all of it.

Moments later my beautiful loaf of Nutella Braided Bread and my tranquility are devoured by boisterous, hungry men in about 5 minutes.

I can so easily allow this moment to feel like disappointment.  Because when I pull the warm bread from the oven – I envision my family sitting around our farmhouse dining room table, eating from plates, and enjoying fun conversation while savoring my beautiful creation in small, reasonable bites.

But as God deepens my understanding of tasting, the interruption and the devouring become sacred moments that also invite me to “Taste and See that the Lord is good.” Psalm 34:8

For too long I’ve interpreted this verse as speaking merely about the sweetness of life. But unforgettable taste is not merely sweet.  Good taste is also salty and spicy and sour.  The best bites are the balance of all of those flavors.

There is goodness to be found in all the moments that make up my life if I can receive them without measuring every moment against my expectations.

This morning I receive my family breaking into the quiet of my morning – so eager to eat the homemade Nutella Braided Bread that they stand around the oven, burning the tips of their fingers as they pull at the hot loaf, and saying, “Thanks mom.” with a mouthful of steaming bread – as pure joy.

“Taste and See that the Lord is good.” Psalm 34:8

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