Me, Tom, Bill and Pottsy at this gigantic, reflective, metalic, ominous, misshapen, outer spacey, egg-type thing in downtown Chicago.
Eating: The Sign of Life
When we went to Chicago last week, we ate the world famous Chicago-style pizza at Giordano’s on Rush St. It’s one of those things you have to do when you’re in Chicago. We were all looking forward to a big day of walking, shopping and taking in the sights, so everyone ordered a ton of food thinking we were at Big Ed’s Pizza back home in ‘the Ridge’ and we would be able to slam tons of hot, cheesy goodness… Well, to make a long story short, we got schooled. It was hot, cheesy and good, but it was way too much for any of us. I have never seen so much food left on the table at a restaurant, but even though we got served, we still had the greatest time just being together and eating…
And by the way, isn’t eating just about the coolest thing? I mean seriously, is there anything better than a really good watermelon? And let’s not forget about brownies and milkshakes… In my life I’ve met plenty of people I have a hard time getting along with, but I’ve yet to meet a piece of bacon I didn’t like! Tom always asks the question, “What if God hadn’t invented eating? What if people just photosynthesized… you know, you walk out into the sun for a while, turn green and you’re good to go for the day?” Praise the Lord He came up with something so much cooler and more fun! I mean, if there were no eating, we wouldn’t have words like ‘delicious’ and ‘scrumptious’ because we just wouldn’t need them.
I was reading about the resurrection this week in the book of Luke and was struck by one thing… food. Eating plays a big part in the raising of the dead in the book of Luke. It sort of becomes a sign of life… in fact, it is the crucial sign of life; the case-closing, convincing proof that the dead has been raised. In Luke chapter 8, Jesus raised a dead girl back to life and while others laughed at the prospect, Jesus told her parents to get her something to eat. In chapter 24, after Jesus Himself was raised from the dead, He spent a long time with two of His followers on the way to Emmaus, but they didn’t really get that it was Him until they sat down to eat and He broke the bread. Later, when Jesus appeared to His disciples, they didn’t believe what they were seeing with their own eyes and so He said, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave Him a piece of broiled fish, and He took it and ate it in their presence.”
So why is eating such a sign of life? I think it has to do with how visceral and physically interactive it is… I mean, ghosts can’t take a piece of fish out of your hand, put it in their mouth, chew it up and say, “Mmm. Got any tartar sauce?” If someone eats, they are really alive and being nourished by what they’re eating. And there it is... the reason behind eating. You see, to get the nourishment out of food, you have to eat it, take it in. No matter how colorful and beautiful the presentation on the plate, it gets crushed, ground up, poured out and broken. Then it descends into unseen depths and nourishes you, giving you everything you need.
When Jesus gave us a way to remember what He did for us on the cross, it was a meal. Bread is broken and wine is poured out. He said they represent His body broken and His blood poured out. His death… His being crushed, His life poured out. With His death and resurrection He has washed us clean and gives us new life, filling us and nourishing us from inside in ways we don’t fully understand. Maybe I’m reaching here, but maybe my veggies aren’t just good for me because of their minerals and junk. Maybe Lucky Charms aren’t just ‘magically delicious.’ Maybe all the awesome food is telling us something about how the One we need more than anything was broken and poured out to give us life.
...And here's Michael giving a valiant effort against a foe that was beyond any of us: