Playdates with God: Fleeting

bread
In the novel Like Water for Chocolate the heroine, Tita, is a brilliant cook who is forced to forego love to care for her aging mother. Tita’s mother has forbidden her youngest daughter to marry, believing it is Tita’s duty to stay single and care for her until she dies. Tita is a good daughter and serves her family well—cooking and caring for their home. But when it is announced that Tita’s sister will marry the man that Tita loves—her strength fails her. Tita is forced to make the wedding cake for her sister’s wedding. Tita has always poured her passion into the food she prepares for her family, but the making of the wedding cake is too much. She moistens the batter with her tears. The cake is filled with Tita’s sorrow to the point that when the wedding guests taste it, they are filled with longing and begin to weep. Throughout the book, Tita pours her heart into the food she prepares and whoever partakes of her dishes is flooded with the emotions she experiences as she dices and chops, stirs and sautés.

I thought of Tita as I prepared a meal for dear friends the other day. Is it possible to pour love into the sauce pan? When they eat, will they spoon comfort into their bodies? It seems a poor substitute for the one they are missing but my hands are gentle as I peel the garlic, chop the meat. I use the special recipe…taking time and extra care.  And when the onions bring the tears, I just let them flow. And I remember, and I pour love into the pan with the diced chicken.
As I pour the olive oil over the cloves and prepare to roast the garlic, I still see them dancing together. On the carport, in the light of the moon or the pale shaft that falls from the garage. They weren’t shy with their love and after all those years, was it any wonder? We would laugh and clap and cheer them on and they didn’t mind, just shuffled cheek-to-cheek and smiled at each other with their eyes.
As I stir the roux for the gumbo, cube the bread for the bread pudding, I think about love and who can know when that last kiss will be given?  I wonder about heaven and how it must be to arrive. I stir in the broth and see a glimpse of joy at the end of suffering. But the longing is there, and the need to be held.
When the meal is done and boxed up and ready to deliver, I hold the flower securely in my hands. It seems so frail, like a breath. I hold it carefully and inhale it’s soft fragrance.

orchid  
How about you? How do you embrace the God-joy? Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him. And come tell us about it.

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Comments

  1. says

    I think about love and who can know when that last kiss will be given?

    My friend lost her husband yesterday. He was a mere 49 years old. Who can know?

    I think your post is beautiful and it finally helped the tears to come.

  2. says

    Oh, it’s good to be back at the Wellspring after some much needed time off!

    I fully believe there is a spiritual aspect to preparing food and I love these images. And I’m going to have to add this book to my ever-growing list.

  3. says

    So beautiful Laura–I hope it is true that the love we pour into the food we prepare for family and loved ones is transmitted in some way that goes beyond the food itself. Oh to be that intentional in the preparation all the time!! Thank you for this tasty treat!

  4. says

    I’ve never heard of that book. Sounds fascinating.
    Your description of cooking also fascinated me. I want to pour love, as opposed to stress, into our food. I know I’ll think of your words as I cook. Soon I’ll be preparing a meal for a friend having a mastectomy. I really will pray and pour love into the work for her now. I love your tender heart and the words that flow.

  5. says

    Lovely! I had heard of the film based on the book, but now I want to read the book as well. With Jen, I was moved by the line about not knowing when the last kiss will be given.

    Yarncrafting for a specific person is for me what cooking is for you and Tita. I don’t know if the recipients feel the love and prayers and longing in every loop, but it’s there all the same.

    God bless you, sister, and the recipient of your beautiful meal.

  6. says

    If you get a chance to read my latest post, it speaks of our acts of creativity given over to the problem to pain–soothing ministry we give to one another through our giftings. I have no doubt your food did just that.

    Hope you are well.

    peace~elaine

  7. says

    A beautiful way of sheltering–pouring so much emotion in the gift of comforting food. Beautifully written and I’m sure the sympathy and love was felt with the partaking.

  8. says

    Surely something of your sweet spirit permeated what was so lovingly prepared Laura. This was so touching – giving me something to think deeply about.

  9. says

    Ma’am?

    Would you mind telling me what camera you use? That last picture is oh, so incredible.

    I can see the life. The little veins in the pedals.

    And my camera doesn’t do that. 🙂

  10. says

    I never thought of cooking just like that. But…. I believe that could possible be true. I love the lovely thoughts o love that you have captured through cooking. Not a cook but… I sure enjoy a good cooks meal.

    I have left you a little something over a tmy blog You can pick it up any time.
    Blessings

  11. says

    I love this Laura…and the kindness stirred into your cooking…and words.
    I want to live remembering– “who can know when the last kiss will be given”…
    Thank you.

  12. says

    Full of such love…who can indeed know the last?
    Your post reminds me that my mom is fond of saying that how you feel ends up in your cooking. I am inspired to read the book you mention.

  13. says

    I always fight the onion tears. Maybe it’s better to simply let them flow, and with them all the hurts and sorrows and griefs?

    A beautiful picture, Laura, in words and images. I always feel replenished when I come here.

  14. says

    So much emotion can go into our cooking and baking, tears of sadness or tears of joy! Tita was a good daughter to sacrifice her life for her mothers wishes. So sad to bake a wedding cake for her sister and soon to be brother-in-law at the expense of lost love of her own. Enjoyed this post! Thank you for hosting too!

  15. says

    Oh, this was so precious and at the same time sad, Laura. I can feel your love poured into that gumbo for your neighbors’ loss of love.
    Yes, who knows when that last kiss will come. Every moment must be treasured.
    I will always think of cooking with love from now on.

    Blessings,
    Janis

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