It's Finish Friday for me too. Finish in a silly sense. Its been a week without my husband and I'm glad this week has come to a wrap. Me and my crew are anxious and happy to celebrate daddy again tonight, with fireflies sparkling mirroring our own happy smiles.
Because its Friday I'm linking up with Lisa Jo Baker's 5 Minute Fridays and the word is Finish http://lisajobaker.com
Soul food. I think every culture, part of the country, or group of people (even different families) have their own version. Something that goes down warm and smooth and is medicinal. Special memories, special moments, and love are simmered in the layer of flavor so that the tongue reflects the joy of what the heart already feels upon its consumption.
My parents are currently reformed into very "crunchy" people now. I am proud of them. My parents have always been on the small side and never had too much to worry about waist wise, but they weren't the healthiest eaters, just active.
Two years ago tides changed and now my daddy who used to be snacker of chips now eats nightly salads of Kale, radishes, carrots, and spinach. There is not a soda to be found in the house and water is the drink of choice. I am very proud of all their healthy reforms, but I can't help but admit I miss some of that soul food that used to reside under the glass cake plate. Lemon pound cake used to lurk there, the same recipe that my great grandmother used. Blackberry pies or lemon meringue used to rest on the oven and Virginia Best flour biscuits were served for breakfast alongside fluffy scrambled eggs. My mom was a true southern cook and deep down I know she still could whip those things up in a hurry, but times have changed and dinner with the parents means salad bar.
Soul food for me is probably a thick slice of my mom's from scratch (everything from scratch) thick dreamy chocolate pie with whipped meringue topping. I remember eating that as my post holiday breakfast with a glass of cool frothy milk. Totally balanced. Well, its ok if you are 12 and tiny.
Food can feed the soul, in more ways than one.
In John 4:33-35 Jesus marries the two together.
He has sat well side with a scandalous woman and offered her no judgment, but all of Himself. Living Water that will never run dry, an eternity of love and acceptance and freedom. And she took him up on it and then went through her town and told everyone. This planned by Jesus, but unknown to her meeting forever altered her life and the life of her town and it all went down next to a city well.
Jesus' disciples had left Him to go into town and locate some food.
They come back to the scene ignorant of the miracles that unfolded during their food hunt and admonish Jesus, " Rabbi, eat." But He (Jesus) says to their plea, "I have meat to eat that you know not." The disciples are perplexed at His hidden food supply and He answers their questions with this, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work."
So theres the finish and food connection. Jesus is voicing what we know whenever we finish a God-sized task or assignment that God has placed within our hearts to finish.
Finishing a job is food. It's soul food.
In fact its so much more satisfying.
A soul soars upon the completion of a difficult job, a challenge. Nothing culinary or table side can compare to the spiritual bread we receive when we finish by faith something that required much of us and that birthed something great.
I see it in the smile of a mama of twins at their first birthday. She can snap a million pictures away as she watches the twins smash birthday cake everywhere and nod satisfaction at the feast she is eating right now, the soul food of a finished first year, of twins.
I see it in the smiling faces of kids who finish the school year and close the last book. College kids who finished that arduous semester and finished the last essay on that last paper. Done. No meal could be soul sweeter.
I see it in the runner as he finishes the race (no matter how long he took or what place he ended)...Finishing something hard is soul refreshing...more so than the long draught of water he swallows to quench His body, his soul is already quenched in the finish....
I saw it in the faces of my dad and husband as they together manhandled the most solid, beautiful deck I had ever seen in the hottest days of the summer...dropping gallons of sweat into the July baked mud ....the joy as they sat there in the streaming July sun weeks later and enjoyed the food of their finish. Finally. The pride in their smiles as they looked over what their hands had made.
|Finished Wedding Day Smiles|
|My own first baby's first birthday joy|
|smile splitting sister joy at graduation|
|the two men of my life sitting atop fresh woodsy scented lumber built on gallons of July sweat.|
I think there is something to be said of all of this finishing food, when we lack this soul food we often turn to so many other things to satiate us and end up empty...only scavenging for more.
Isaiah describes this soul hunger, "Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare."
i do want to spend my life finishing the work that God has blessed me to do and enjoying the feast that is the finish.
And sometimes I think that all the in-between before the finish is like licking brownie batter out of the bowl, rich and thick. After we have submerged the glass bottomed pan in the belly of the oven. Sometimes God lets us have tastes of how sweet the finish will be to keep us going until we can call it - done, finished.