Earlier in the week, I’d seen families walk toward the church and felt nervous driving where all the people were walking. I very slowly drove home, around all the people and cars. Some women had worn kerchiefs Sunday night, tied in back, at the nape of the neck. What was that about? Later, somebody told me they were having a camp meeting at the church.
Feeling like an awful divorcee refugee when I got home, I turned on the TV to some random channel. There were colorful calm scenes of tropical fish swimming in the ocean. My nerves quieted down, my heart quit racing, my thoughts relaxed. It was a prayer. Watching those beautiful fish was a prayer.
Then later I got hungry for something. I heated the French Toast sticks in the microwave and then put some fresh blueberries with them. I tasted and thought it needed something else, then remembered that jar of Polaner‘s Orange All Fruit with bits of real orange peel. I arranged the food on an off-white salad plate, plates I found at Habitat ReStore. The plates have blue stripes at the edge that remind me of the blue stripes on the late Mother Teresa‘s white sari. Did you know they’ve done a study I read or heard about, I don’t remember where, but people’s heart rates calmed down just watching Mother Teresa being kind to people. That’s how powerful love can be.
My little meal last night that was really good, with cold milk to drink, made me think of the film “Babette’s Feast,” which I watched several years ago. The movie is based on a novella by Isak Dinesen/Karen Blixen. The film is by Gabriel Axel. The story is about the pleasures of eating, but more than that. Wanda Avila wrote an excellent piece about the film called “The Discovery of Meaning in Babette’s Feast.” In the story, Babette is a refugee from the French Revolution who decides to prepare a true French meal–a feast–using 10,000 francs she won in a lottery.
Here’s what struck me most about Avila’s article. She wrote that “Babette’s Feast” is “not concerned with the God of organized religion, but with what Rudolph Otto called ‘numinosum,’ the religious rapture…that is beyond any particular religion.”
So there’s really nothing particularly wrong if we don’t want to go to that church meeting or camp meeting all the time. Especially when we feel like a refugee, for whatever reason, it’s understandable–even transcendent–to suddenly feel the peace of God in the quiet little room or under the stars or wherever we are. Sometimes a TV is the only aquarium a person has. For us, God will put Himself in a box.
- Saltwater… Good for what ails ya! (wendyestelle.com)
- The Feast of Wisdom: Readings for the 20th Week of Ordinary Time (thesacredpage.com)
- Trust, Surrender and Joy (sjsa.wordpress.com)
- Food for ? (elspethc.wordpress.com)