During the Easter holiday our family of foodies had a most enjoyable time baking, cooking, and enjoying the results around the dinner table. Whilst my son-in-law tried his hand at baking bread, we chatted away about the wonder of a teaspoonful of yeast cells that would multiply under the right circumstances in order to cause the bread to rise, releasing a wonderful aroma while baking.
On finding that some of the spices in the holiday home had gone a bit stale, I was reminded of Jesus’s warning that we shouldn’t be like salt that has lost its saltiness. Today’s wide variety of table/cooking salt with the different colours and flavours ánd creative names, is a true inspiration to enhance the flavour of the dishes that I prepare. And with the delicate balance of salt, sour, sweet, bitter and the lesser-known umami (pleasant savoury taste) cooking is pure joy and eating an unforgettable experience.
Likewise, I can add flavour to my environment. The good in others can be enhanced merely by my presence – actually by Christ in me, by his peace and caring love. I simply have to be like a freshly picked bouquet garni, like a jar of the very best spices – giving flavour to my relationships, positively influencing any conversation that I am part of.
Sometimes the simplest meal can turn even an unhappy situation into an unforgettable occasion. Like the packed lunch of bread and fish of a little boy, Jesus can bless and multiply my everyday walk with Him and use it to feed others. I might not even be aware of this happening, only to find a few years down the line that my gracious words towards an erring friend or family member had been the dash of salt or the spoonful of yeast that God had used to bring about dramatic change in this person’s life.
May the example of God’s saints be blessed among those among whom they live; and may his grace flow from heart to heart, until the little one becomes a thousand.
- Oswald Chambers
Living abroad, we are from time to time kept in the loop about a friend or family member’s terminal illness via WhatsApp messages. One of the precious messages I received was a picture of the beautiful red toenails of a dear friend in her hospital bed. The nails were done especially for her last Christmas with her family.
Like many a South African male, my husband dreamt about having a farm: to be near nature, to be busy with farm animals. What joy when he and a friend were able to buy a piece of farm land, wíth cattle! What glorious activity to herd the cattle into a crush for their necessary inoculations and their regular dip to ward off ticks. Of course, when a cow got into this narrow passage, there was no way she could turn around – there was only one way to go and that was forward, no matter how uncomfortable the experience.
Every morning, the last touch on my newly-made bed is the two handfuls of ornamental hearts that remind me to pray for my children and grandchildren – that God would keep them safe and that their lives would glorify his Name, whether in their relationships, their work or play.