Saturday, October 20, 2012
We gather early to sink our fingers into mounds of yeasty dough. Chunks of the soft, almost too sticky squishiness are rolled to floured flatness on the countertop. Two-year old granddaugher, perches on the bar stool, and presses the round cutter into the prepared rectangle while her dad adds an extra push, his strong hand around the smaller one. The younger face beams as the circle twists free like a piece from a puzzle. Clutching the tinier cutter, tongue lolling from side of mouth, she and dad collaborate again to punch out a small round hole from the first circle. Her eyes follow the puffy creation as it's transported by spatula to cookie sheet. Oblivious to smudges of flour on elbows and nose, she's eager to do it again.
Other family teams cut more yeasty hole-in-the-middle circles. The table is soon covered with cookie sheets full of the carefully spaced cut-outs, laying like over-sized lifesavers. The wait is agonizing as mouths water, anticipating the first warm, sugary bite. The shapes must grow to just the right fatness, get plopped into hot oil until perfectly browned, then dipped into glazey sweetness and cooled just enough-enough is relative depending on which mouth is feeding- before the feasting begins.
It's Donut Day with a household of relatives who hang out from morning until afternoon making and eating the satisfying pastries. Older adults visit, coffee in hand. Techno generation makes eye contact with cellular apps and web, preserving memories instantly online; at times all gathered around the same palm to view the latest pixel taken. Kid cousins run, hide-and-seek, laugh and cry. The cooking oil makes eyes burn. Windows open to let in new air and coolness. Other family gatherings may get preempted by necessary engagements, but calendars hold only one appointment on this day of sacred tradition.
Thank heaven for leaven! For Homemade Donuts!
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
October is pastor appreciation month.
Elders, ministry leaders and congregation collaborated in honoring our pastors on Sunday. Words of commendation were spoken and read aloud while photos from the present and past presented poses of our pastors laboring, laughing and lounging. We feasted together after the meeting and bestowed our gifts on them. We honored God in acknowledging the Godly service and example of those who lead us.
Are they perfect? You might have concluded that from the glowing tributes their adult children shared with us. But they wouldn't claim to be and we know they aren't. There have been times of ouch and oops and days when I would not have felt like singing their praises. Isn't that the way we are, though? Relationships we desire closeness with will disappoint.
Sometimes honor feels like kisses and bursting -at -the -seams pride and tears of gratitude, awe and veneration. But what about when it doesn't? When ho hum indifference or resentment or anger crowds out desire to honor? It's so not about us then, but obedience to God's Word to honor those in leadership, including parents and presidents. If honoring through clenched teeth seems hypocritical, then it may be time to make appointments at the throne of grace for attitude alignments, a forgiveness makeover and deep cleansing. Only when we're road worthy to his high Way, can we ask for wisdom and timing to make appeals or confront wrongs.
Help us honor each other as you've asked us to, Father. Not just on special days, but in our hearts and through our words, always.
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.