Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Few Random, Not-at-all-Connected Thoughts

1.  I cannot be the only person in the world who thinks a Peanut Butter Bacon sandwich sounds AMAZING!  Toast up some gluten-free bread, slap on the peanut butter, add some bacon--extra crispy, maybe a slice or two of tomato.  I'm thinking I'll have to try this come summer.  You know, when tomatoes taste like tomatoes.

2.  I have knack, when it come to cooking, for finding a recipe and fixing it.

Case in point:  Dinner last night.  Mushroom Risotto.  The recipe called for 4 ounces of shiitake mushrooms, and 3 ounces of cremini.  Since I cannot purchase mushrooms in bulk around here, I had 5 ounces of shiitake and 8 ounces of cremini.  I used them all!

And while the recipe called for 10 ounces of a dry white wine, I started out with 14 ounces.  Because it tastes good!

Now, by the end of the recipe, if you find yourself in need of additional liquid, it indicates you should add hot water.  And give up the chance for more flavor!?  Heck no!  I added another 6 ounces of wine.

The last step was to add 2 ounces of Parmesan--I used 4.8 ounces of aged, imported, Italian Parmesan.  And instead of the 2 Tablespoons of butter that was called for, I drizzled white truffle oil over the top.

Yes, I am a goddess in the kitchen.

3.  I've been thinking about some things lately.  Specifically, knowing someone has led me to think of old ideas in a new way.

I like it when this happens.

As a theologian, I'm pretty used to intellectualizing the god-topic.  And though there is occasionally overlap, my personal theology isn't necessarily the same as my public theology, and neither has anything at all to do with my faith.  If you're confused, you're not alone.  Everyone who knows me starts scratching their head at this point.

However, as a theologian, I've thought, read, written about divine love.  My public theology, affirms that divine love is the root of all love.  It is the starting and ending point of life.  All of reality is linked to divine love.  As such, I believe that we are called to make tangible the divine love in our world, recognizing that all comes from and all returns to the divine.  We are to care for, tend, and love everything.  And divine love is transcendent.

My personal theology also affirms divine love.  I believe it is divine love at work when I choose to be patient, kind, and generous with others, even when I'd rather not be.  Divine love is where I am rooted and to where I will return.  And divine love is transcendent.

My faith, on the other hand, has some questions.  Nay, doubts.  About the reality of divine love.  In particular about the transcendent nature of divine love.  And specifically our ability as humans to tap into the transcendent nature of divine love and love beyond all bounds.

Now, I have been in relationships in which I have experienced the transcendent nature of divine love.  My best friend.  My mentor.  My nieces.

But when it comes to the question of romantic relationships, I've never believed that the transcendent love of the divine was actually possible.   I had never even considered it.  I want to know someone, in their absolute core, and be known in return.  And if, at my core, I identify myself as rooted in God, how could I possibly know and be known by anyone who did not also identify as being similarly rooted.

And then I met a man who doesn't go to church.  Who hasn't prayed in years.  Who's attitude toward God is apathetic and disinterested at best.

And I chose to love this person.  I chose to invest.

Everything I believed about myself and my abilities and my needs ran counter to who this man was.  And I chose to engage.  I chose to act in ways that defied rationality.  I chose to actively love this man.  I chose to do whatever I could, no matter how small, to bless him, to honor him, to treat him with respect and dignity.  I chose to love him.

And suddenly I began to think that the transcendent love of God could be a lived reality in any relationship.

But I also believe that loving others begins with loving and honoring the image of God within ourselves.  And if we do not honor our own needs, we can never fully love another.

I tried.  In the end, I came to realize that loving another should never put my heart in a position of being battered and bruised.  When I love, I want to love from wholeness.

And so, I walked away.

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