Saturday, September 2, 2006

Singing the "No Zucchini Blues"

Let it be known: I really like zucchini. My dear mother asked me which meals I'd like to eat before I leave for Turkey and things like barbecued pork and flavorful beers become unobtainable. My votes: bratwurst with sauerkraut, grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup (made with milk, of course), and spaghetti with sauteed zucchini. So when dinner is served tonight, I was dismayed to find there was no zucchini.

I was on the verge of becoming a discontented, grumbling Israelite: "The rabble with them began to crave other food, and against the Israelites started wailing and said, 'If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost--also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never have anything but this manna!' " (Numbers 11:4-6). Is it of note that the zucchini's next-of-kin is the cucumber?

How blind I was to the abundance before me: spaghetti with hamburger sauce, garlic bread, salad, milk. But all I saw was no zucchini. This summer--perhaps more than ever before--I've been really irritated by the advertising that makes us think we need some new $30k car or a $300 iPod to be happy or fulfilled. And in a way, I bought into it; though it was manifested in a garden vegetable. How many people depend upon a daily (if they're fortunate) handful of rice or beans? or rummaging through a restaurant's dumpster? Perhaps it was a twisted, blessed weening in disguise when God sent such starvation upon the Israelites that they were forced to cannibalism (see, e.g., Lamentations 2:20; 4:9-10).

O Lord, forgive us. May we not be like the horse or mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by the bit and bridle of poverty and hunger. Rather, may we live content with all you provide and bless you from grateful hearts for your kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Amen.

No comments: