Sunday, March 2, 2014

Is There Anything to Eat When the Cupboard is Bare?

March 2, 2014

Dear friends,

This time the archeological dig resulted from preparing a bundle of old newspapers to go to the recycling station. Some of the advertisements in the pile were Valentine Day encouragement to consumers to buy extravagantly in the service of love.

Simply handling this stuff enroute to the recycling bin leaves me with a mild mental headache, a cognitive experience much like physically walking into a room filled with stale cigarette smoke. I experienced a strong impulse to open the windows no matter how much cold air blew in.

I grant—readily—that this matter of love does not lend itself to simple formula.  Still—the idea that love means a relationship that permits, so to speak, an all-you-can-eat buffet seems to be not only inexact but also dishonest. And to expect unlimited emotional nourishment when we disregard the principles of a balanced diet seems an error not of simple wishful thinking, but rather a high-risk denial of reality.  However sweet the process of acquiring it, there is something particularly unpleasant--and dangerous--about a sugar-induced glucose hangover.

Thankfully, life also holds unexpected fragments of grace that can be found in the debris.  

Later in the afternoon while working at my desk I found an empty file. As I started to discard it, I noticed something copied in a hurried half-legible scrawl on the cover. 

I discovered I had kept (in a most unsafe keeping place) Krista Bremer’s great question: “Is love an endless feast, or is it what people manage to serve each other when their cupboards are bare?”  

Thinking with you this week about the vulnerability that comes with serving what we have when the cupboard is bare. 

In this matter of love as with other issues of life, doing what we can with what we have where we are is not an easy assignment.

See you next week.


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