OK, I admit it: I’m no great shakes at cooking. Oh, I try. Knives are my nemesis. The other day I attempted to cut a butternut squash. You should have seen me before I got a decent knife! WITH the decent knife the poor squash went bouncing off the counter and I said a quick prayer that my neighbors below me would not hear the loud bang when I slammed the squash against the cutting board to get it free from the knife! So, yes, cooking is an “experience,” a “happening” in my apartment!
Despite my inexperience, I take a nearly gleeful delight in creating something worthwhile to eat. And so it was that last weekend I made a crockpot full of black beans and veggies — with plenty of butternut squash — with the intent of wanting to share this bounty with someone at work who was just returning from burying her beloved dad. With some trembling and fear (Maria has the reputation of being a soup-maker par excellence), I called her up and said I had something to bring over. Hoping and praying it tasted OK, I took over a big bowl of steaming veggies for her supper last Sunday night.
Something about that experience changed me. Out of my poverty, my insufficiency, my inability, and inadequacy, a divine gift was shared. Cups full of love (in addition to the squash and onions and mushrooms) were added with a liberality characteristic of this season of harvest. Maria was touched and grateful. More than that, I was touched that my simple gift was gift to her amidst her grieving. Isn’t it amazing the gifts we can offer from our own weakness and humility? Isn’t it amazing how the grateful reception of our gifts shifts our confidence? Isn’t it amazing how God works?
By the way … in case you were wondering … a couple of hours later I sat down to try the crockpot wonder myself. Simply divine!