I can list for you the great meals I've had at different churches, yet I could not list for you those heavenly saints. Is this wrong? Pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, Irish Stew on St. Patrick's day, church lady sandwiches at summer picnics and (sadly) funerals, full on turkey dinners for the Christmas season. All in my belly. All said with a great big Amen.
The last time my little tush found itself on a pew was for a wedding. And before that, another wedding (both times followed by an excellent meal!). Every wedding I attend I pray to God it's not a Catholic wedding because those damn pews are just so uncomfortable. I have to wonder if the tale I was told about pews is true - that they made them like that so you don't get comfy and start to day dream. Rather, in my case, I get fidgety and stop paying attention because I can't stop thinking about my sore bottom.
What is it about the connection of food and the divine? An answered soul and a nourished belly equate to a connection that is faster than Bruce Telecom's Cheetah internet? Wait, just about anything is faster than that. I recant. A connection that is faster than the speed of light.
Pancake Tuesday, so I've been lead to believe, is named so because we are supposed to make pancakes (duh). We must use up all the rich foodstuff in our pantry's to prepare for lent. Wikipedia (the trustiest of sources...) tells me that donuts were also a common choice (Tim Horton's, here I come!) I have observed Pancake Tuesday for many a year, but not once have I given up something for lent. Does this seem fair to the man in Heaven? Am I going to get a stamp on my hand at the pearly gates that indicates I do not have VIP access?
Clearly, I did not grow up in a church-going family. I was told about God, Jesus, Heaven and all that, but we did not attend Sunday service. This has left me in the dark about the supporting reasons for why Christians do some of the things we do. Such as Lent. I understand that we give up something for 40 days to resist sin and live in self-denial of a favoured item. Honestly, though, to do it for 40 days and then to pick up the habit again, what did we learn? That people get grouchy without their booze, cigarettes, chocolate, pepsi, blah blah blah? If we want to impose a self-denial, we should pick something and stick to it forever. That way, when we walk up to those gates, Saint Peter (I know at least one!) will give us a high five and all access as VIP.
I could say that I will give up sugar in my tea. But in all sincerity, it's something that I've been working down on for a while now, and in doing so, I'm just doing it for my health and not for my soul. Maybe on Wednesday I'll cut out the sugar, maybe I won't. Maybe on Wednesday I'll offer up my thanks by addressing my action figure Jesus instead. He's a nice guy to talk to, afterall.
(Action Figure Jesus baptising the rubber ducky)