Tonight for dinner we had turkey and bleu cheese burgers and roasted fresh asparagus, along with various leftovers, including some potato salad my mom had sent back with me when I went over to visit the other day. I bought the asparagus at the farmer's market here. It's the really thin kind, and reminds me of when I first ate asparagus.
I don't think I ever ate asparagus as a child, not once. I studied in Iowa one summer, and someone there told me that wild asparagus grew in the ditches. To prove it, we went out and picked some. Not many years later, I was living in the parsonage in South Dakota, when one of my parish members knocked on the door with a gift. That was not unusual. People were always bringing over jam, or green beans, or pickles (once deer sausage, even). But this was also: wild asparagus, from the ditches.
I didn't know how to prepare asparagus then, but learned an easy way, especially for a single person who only needed a little at a time: roasted in olive oil, in the oven. Temperature: 450, for 10 minutes. Then shake on the salt and pepper, and it's delicious. It's my husband's favorite vegetable now. We also have learned to stir-fry it, and toss with toasted sesame seeds. That's good too.
A little later tonight we'll have desert: ice cream with fresh raspberries. For these raspberries I neither sowed nor reaped. They arrived at the front door unasked for, courtesy of a parish member who lives down the street. She brings them every July.
Sometimes I try so hard I am tempted to believe that working justifies my existence. Everyone else is saved by grace through faith; not me. It's how hard I work that matters. I can't be a slacker. I can't have a bad day, or write a mediocre sermon. Wild asparagus in the ditches, fresh raspberries at the front door remind me that isn't true. We are not what we do, only useful for the hours we put in, and what we produce.
Lord, give us this day our daily bread, and asparagus, and raspberries. Amen.