A quick update of my Lenten experience. It’s going… fine. On the one hand it’s much easier than I imagined. It turns out I rarely go shopping for the sake of shopping, or really ever buy things unplanned. On the other hand, it’s made me quite the social recluse as most of my attempts to be with other people center around eating out, getting coffee or what have you. My cheating (“taking a Sunday” – but I’ll have you know I’ve made fewer purchases than there have been Sundays in Lent so far. I think this shows effort!) have all been around eating out – lunch or dinner on Sunday with the fam when I just don’t feel like cooking and will COMPLETELY justify and say it’s biblical. Also there the mental sanity day that I met KLR for lunch. That was a Wednesday and not a Sunday and I’ve repented for my sin. I know God’s okay with it because He completely blessed me with my time in conversation with her.
I wish that instead of just hiding at home until Lent is over, I would (have) become more creative in the ways I connect with others. I feel strongly that having others over and sharing a kitchen and a dinner together is a connection point. Since I married Mr. Hospitality himself, I wish we would make more effort at inviting others over. (On the other hand, I have no idea when this was supposed to happen. Our weekends have been booked solid, unless we’re sick, and sometimes both). I love eating out because the work involved is minimal. But I believe it also coincides with the minimal amount of relational depth that happens as well. Bringing someone into your home, to your table, is much more intimate than the industrial setting of fast food. But we’re a fast-food nation, and I wonder if our relationships have begun to mimic our eating patterns. We grab a quick conversation on the run, a FB message here and there, but relationship lacks nutritional substance. Quick calories that can fill your tank for the moment, but not the nutrients that make for healthy growth.
My friend SC lives by the idea that you know the strength of the friendship when you can walk into the kitchen to get a glass of water. You either know where they’re kept or are comfortable hunting through until you find them. But that takes more than one visit to the kitchen to have those rights. And you’ll never know if you’re only meeting at Taco Bell. Dining together is more than just how quick an easy the food can be served; it’s allowing people in. It’s joining in the chaos of what it means to get food on the table. And in the comfort of creating all of that, relationships bloom.
So, that’s Lenten Reflection #1: commerce has hijacked dining with friends. Unless you’re one of the lucky ones who still lives in Findlay and has breakfast in one another’s homes so the toddlers can frolic and you can enjoy a cup of coffee and a good breakfast burrito.