Thursday, September 07, 2006


When I grab my one and only Longaberger basket--the one with the frilly blue liner I made myself because I was too frugal to buy theirs, overlaid with the plastic liner I bought from them because I was smart enough to know I'd need it--and head down to the garden, I know I was created to harvest tomatoes. And beans. And whatever else my eyes spy out there. There's something earthly and perfect about hunkering down before a groaning tomato plant, reaching between those curly, pungent leaves, and relieving the branch of a hefty round orb--the scent of which I simply cannot describe. Nor can I quite capture the color. It's almost alive, that ruby hue. Nestled in all that green, those gems practically call your name when you make your appearance through the greenhouse door. "We're here!" And so they are.

So when I'm loading my basket with perfect tomatoes, I know I was created to feel the growing weight of that Longaberger basket slung over my arm.

I'm convinced, too, that I was born to make spaghetti sauce. I feel like a genuine earth mother chopping the peppers, zucchini, garlic and onions that found their way into my basket during the tomato-fetching mission. And when I'm tearing bits of basil from the pot on my patio, I'm quite convinced that God wrote somewhere near my name, a century or two before my birth, "Make this one love to cook." Because I do. I love the tasting and testing that goes with the venture. I love digging through the spices above my stovetop, looking for that one particular something that I'm sure will pull the best flavor out of the pot. I love the warm, lovely smell of just-peeled garlic ... and the patterns made by dancing, jumping herb-flecked splatters ... and the hot sound of burping, burbling, bubbling sauce. And I love that I get to wear -- and wipe my hands on -- my black Starbucks apron.

And though I truly don't want to go all chariots-of-fire on you, the truth is, when I'm cooking, I feel God's pleasure. Maybe it's because He's a parent, and a banquet-setter, and the satisfier of all our hunger. He knows what it is to see upturned, expectant faces, and to watch hope dawn in the eyes of the hungry. So when He looks into my kitchen, and sees me stirring that ugly wooden spoon in my sloppy fashion, I feel the rhythm of His heartbeat.

And sometimes, I feel His smile.

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5 Comment:

At 9/07/2006 9:50 PM, Blogger violet had this to say ...

I love your basket and your tomatoes and your sauce! You're right, it's tomato week - let's have a party!!

At 9/08/2006 4:46 AM, Blogger Priscilla49 had this to say ...

Oh the pleasure of cooking like you describe! I love to put on a big pot of vegetables on a Saturday and have a wonderful stew with fresh-baked bread for supper! I, too, feel God's smile on this savoring of His bounty! Thanks for putting into words what it means to me to cook!

At 9/08/2006 1:33 PM, Anonymous Linda had this to say ...

Thanks for the inspiration! I think I'm going to go roast some vegetables with olive oil and garlic!

At 9/09/2006 12:14 PM, Blogger ...jus me had this to say ...

I love to read your blog...you could have just said I love to cook and God made me that way! But, I am so glad you didn't. I could almost see Him smiling down on you. You have such a way with words. It is a pleasure to have you on my blogroll.

ps. My blog is finally back up and running! Stop by if you can.

At 9/09/2006 4:48 PM, Blogger crickl had this to say ...

I am drooling...I hope I don't short out my computer! =)

Beautiful descriptions and bringing it back to a spiritual connection. I think you were born to do that with your writing too....like Jesus did with His parables.

Yay tomatoes!


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