[For whatever reason, I first posted this May 8, 2010 on my Stories I Don't Remember blog. Today I decided that I definitely want this as part of First Paragraphs.]
Loving the paperback cover:
Two striking and memorable passages, especially, resonate with me as I read Paula Butturini's book Keeping the Feast:
Violence, blood, depression, and death are, I know now, part of life. Today I recognize them, respect them, fight them, and try as much as I can to keep them at bay, but I no longer pretend that they are not as much a part of life as birth or joy or love or the laughter, comfort, and strength that grow out of a simple meal shared with family or close friends.
All of us cook, I think, in part to feed our daily hunger, but just as important, and perhaps more so, we cook and eat to feed our spirits, to keep us all in the same orbit of life. As the generations turn our family expands, the table and its simple pleasures--never just the food, but the food and the talk, the food and the laughter, the food and the tears, the jokes, the memories, the hopes--still hold us in place, well anchored in a safe harbor. There may very well be another depression or endless other troubles, big or small, lying in wait for us, but rather than freezing in fear about what may come, we try our best to live and enjoy the lives we've been served forth.
Keeping the Feast
I know that I grew up and lived much of my adult life with the knowledge (!) or hope (?) that being a child of God protects me from pain, trauma, violence, and sudden death. Huh! How does a rational human reconcile all the miseries and sufferings of life with that dumb belief? I'm here to tell you that one can, and one does.
Of course, life is so much more rational since I've adjusted my expectations to what God truly promises. Not that I am protected from life and others choices, but that he surrounds and protects and comforts and walks so very closely with me when life happens.
His perfect love casts out fear. Yet, daily I experience, wallow in, and chase away fears of the known and the unknown. The scars of childhood? My very human nature? The forces of darkness and evil?
What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.