After my first baby was born I became a food Pharisee. At 21, I was the first of my friends to get married and have a child -- and I was just a little concerned about proving I could do it all right. I turned up my nose at white flour and sugar, becoming almost obsessed with "real food". I worried over what to buy, cook, and eat more than almost anything because I wanted to feed my family right.
This summer I've been reading Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist with the Bloom book club, and her words have inspired me to think differently about food, nourishment, and hospitality. She says, "You can decide that every time you open your door, it's an act of love... every time people gather around your table, your goal is nourishment, not neurotic proving." Ouch. Neurotic proving? I know that has been my hidden motive too often.
I want the goal of my cooking, my hospitality, to be love. And love is not so concerned about it's own "rightness" as it is with what others want and need.
I'm learning that sometimes nourishment is having pancakes, made with white flour and chocolate chips and feeling the comfort of childhood memories. And sometimes nourishment is having friends bring their own meat to grill and getting bags of salad and chips, because I'd rather celebrate life together than give excuses that I don't have time to cook. Sometimes it's preparing homemade chicken broth for chicken noodle soup when my whole family is sick with a cold. It's a balance of nutrition, practicality, and heart, and knowing when to favor one over the other.
Sometimes, my faith has also been more concerned with proving something than about love. I went to Bible college, solidified my views on biblical interpretation and theology, and was convinced I had it all right. But I hadn't done much about actually loving people, actually living it out.
I've been slowly learning that faith in Jesus isn't about me proving that I know the Right Way to Think or the Right Way to Act. It's abiding with Him, being nourished by the Bread and Wine and Water of life. It's receiving from God and pouring out into the world.
This walk of faith is not about me and my right-ness. Romans 3:25-26 says, "God sets things right. He also makes it possible for us to live in his rightness." (MSG) Friends, may we live in His rightness, trusting in His saving power, and be delivered from pride and proving.
Grace & Peace,