Somewhere I read a poem about making soup after all the holiday feasts. Something simply nourishing for body and soul. True for Easter, too. Jud, not known in the family for his culinary skills, took to making bean soup with the ham bone after Easter. Poco, especially, loved his soup. As I write, I remember John, friend and former manager of these condos, who brought his famous bean soup often after Jud died.
Life’s more soup than feasts and wisdom comes with learning what to do with the leftovers. Mama made soup on Monday with the bone left from the Sunday roast. There’s something to be said for a kind of peace that comes with predictable moments. Small rituals that mark more than time.
Last week I made an apple pie. Haven’t done one since Jud died. There’s a touch in handling pie dough and I, apparently, lost it over almost eight years. Even though I used my “holy” roller, a rolling pin bought at the Kutztown fair almost fifty years ago. The Amish and Mennonites know how to make pies. Call it a generalization if you wish but, “It’s true!” Michigan Marty and Dale met us there. Faithful friends.
This pie looked too perfect to be good. And it wasn’t. The top crust came out like a frisbee sprinkled with sugar. It was to be Gordon’s birthday “cake” and Gail thought it would be a sweet surprise for his birthday lunch. Well, the surprise part worked. Even though we’ve been friends forever, I still felt like I needed to get them to sign something stating they wouldn’t sue if they lost teeth or worse. Gail, as only she could, commented on the apples and how much love she tasted in the pie.
Last Thursday I connected by Zoom to a national debate on Public Health, sponsored by Braver Angels. It’s an organization with the goal of “uniting red and blue Americans in a working alliance to depolarize America.” While Dr Francis Collins and my son-in-love, Dr. Matt Willis, were part of the pro team, it was the manner in which those against and those for spoke to each other through “Madam Chairman.” At the heart of why it worked was more than format. It was the desire to listen and treat each person as worth the time it takes to pay attention to more than words. Civil discourse.
And after all the feasting and shouting, “Christ is risen!” returns to just another Monday, I take hope from a simple meal. Soup, of sorts. Jesus fries fish on an outdoor fire and invites the disciples who’d gone fishing with Peter to “Come and have breakfast.” (John 21: 12, NLT)
They come. But Peter craves more than food. Seeing the fire must’ve reminded him of his biggest failure and he had many. Not long ago, he stood outside by another fire and denied three times that he even knew Jesus.
So Jesus took him aside. Maybe draped his arm around Peter’s sagging shoulders, drawing him close with his nail pierced hand. Then asked three times, “Do you love me, Peter?” And Peter ends up the third time saying what’s true for all of us, “Lord, you know everything.” Then added, ‘ You know I love you.” (v.17)Forgiveness and reconciliation.
Monday’s a good day to make soup with some holy leftovers.
So no one’s left hungry to be remembered, heard, forgiven or loved.
Or given a pie worth a story, but not a second bite.
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