Wednesday, November 25, 2009

(Corn) Bread Alone

One of the best gifts I ever got was a 60 minute cassette tape, sent to me in a small manila mailer bag.

I was living in Japan at the time, serving as a missionary teacher, and though I was enjoying the people and the sights and the things I was learning, I sometimes missed my family and friends back in the states.

I missed the Minnesota lakes. I missed ordering pizzas (although you can order a bowl of soba in Japan; it arrives in a beautiful bowl, steaming hot). I missed maraconi and cheese, and conversations with friends.

So one day I received this small package from my parents, just an unassuming little cassette. I stuck in in my tape player. The first words I heard were these:

Come Lord Jesus, be our guest
Let these gifts to us be blessed. Amen
(I think my friend from Japan then said: "itadakimasu!", which means: "Let's eat.")

My parents had invited three of my friends over for dinner, and turned on the tape recorder while they were eating. I got to listen in while they ate chili and munched corn bread (I still remember the menu, don't ask why), and discussed mundane and profound thoughts.

There were theological discussions (two of my friends were seminary students), updates on family activities, jokes (probably from my dad) and laughter. I remember feeling both sadness and joy, listening in our their conversation, feeling like I was almost there with them as they passed the corn bread and asked for more coffee, please.

I leaned into the tape recorder, wanting to get closer, and I thought, it's true. one does not live by bread alone.

There's more to eating than the food. I wasn't just hungry for bread, I was hungry for words, for voices, and for the intimacy that words brought.

Come Lord Jesus, be our guest
let these gifts to us be blessed.
the gift of laughter, tears and words
the gift of bread and wine and meat
Come Lord Jesus, be our host
give us the gift that feeds us most.


Lindy said...

So true. Thank you for sharing this today, Diane. Just what I was thinking in a way I couldn't say. Happy Thanksgiving.

Elaine Dent said...

Thank you.

Gannet Girl said...

You've just reminded me of a similar tape that I have. I need to find it!

Happy Thanksgiving to you, Diane.

Fran said...

Oh Diane! Thank you for this! Thanksgiving blessings to you!!

Rev SS said...

So true! Hope you have that kind of T'day IRL today!

Mrs. M said...

I love it!