I made this tonight. Dark clouds and storms are coming in and it surely feels that way right now. In the way that so many sad things seem to be swelling up and blocking out the light. I found out today that a friend's father met an untimely, terrible death this morning. And, also, that a friend's marriage is in danger. And these are but two of so many, many heavy sorrows of now. My heart feels weighty, mind busy, appetite slim. And my troubles that yesterday felt insurmountable and great are not even in the picture. Every once in a while things hit home. Today I feel the burden of life's woes and death's threat and immediately call to mind Sunday morning's powerful and familiar lyrics: It is well with my soul. This song was written by a man shortly after his family was killed. Even so, he cried, it is well with my soul. My pastor spoke of death and its sting that won't spare a single one of us. He spoke of the reality that every loved one we know will be taken from us. This is our reality. And how utterly dark this feels, hopeless...until we see that with Christ the curse of death no longer has power. And, so, we go on. I read a beautiful book this year called Ten Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. In it, she speaks poignantly of just this, writing as if in God's words to us,
"You may suffer loss but in Me is anything ever lost, really? Isn't everything that belongs to Christ also yours? Loved ones lost still belong to Him--then aren't they still yours? Do I not own the cattle on a thousand hills; everything? Aren't then all provisions, in Christ also yours? If you haven't lost Christ, child, nothing is ever lost. Remember, 'through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God' [Acts 14:22], and in 'sharing in [my Son's] sufferings, becoming like him in his death' you come 'to know Christ and the power of His resurrection" [Phillipians 3:10].
Beautiful, hard, but, I believe, true words. Although in a place of suffering little eases pain, I imagine this might be the only bit of hope to find: that everything that is ours belongs first to God and, so, us with Him, it may always be ours, as well. And that in our sufferings we taste a bit of His death, and, so, understand a bit more of the glorious power of his resurrection over it. All this is mind boggling and overwhelming, but beckons deep to the soul. Tonight will be so sad for the family of my friend who lost her father. And will, again, be painfully empty for a friend living under the same roof of a spouse who feels miles away. But, on their behalf, I have to repeat, repeat…It is well. It is well with my soul...For Christ has regarded my helpless estate and has shed his own blood for my soul...Oh Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight, the clouds be rolled back as a scroll. The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend. Even so, it is well with my soul.
I realize I've never really bared myself on this wee food blog. I decided early on it wasn't a place for the spilling of my deepest heart secrets and woes. But tonight felt different and this seemed right. I'm thankful today for life and breath and glimpses of joy and color amidst sorrow. And that there is the promise of blue skies after this storm, however long it may last.
serves a small crowd (8-ish)
2 peaches, peeled and diced
1 tomato, diced
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 pineapple, diced
handful of cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 lime
salt and hot sauce or 1 jalapeño pepper (chopped finely after stem/seeds/ribs removed), to taste
Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Refrigerate for a couple hours to let flavors marry, or enjoy immediately. This is fantastic with chips, on fish tacos, grilled chicken, etc.