Friday, November 4, 2016

Great Green Gobs of Ugg (Psalm 34:4-8)

Taste and see how good God is - even as a naked bear served by a transgender Christ. 

I sought Our God, who answered me
   and freed me from all my fears.
Those who look to Our God are radiant,
   and their faces are never covered with shame.
The poor called out; Our God heard
   and saved them from all their troubles.
The angel of Our God encamps around those
   who revere God, and rescues them.
Taste and see how good God is!
   Happiness comes to those who take refuge in Our god.

Many a les-bi-gay-trans-queer-plus person has been turned off by the church and for good reasons - rejection and hate. While we realize that God is not synonymous with the church or synagogue or mosque or elm grove it is often hard to separate the place of sacredness from the sacred object of veneration. When this happens, when we confuse the less for the greater we often have to find our way back to discover the Holy as for the first time. 
The best I can describe the tenacity and courage for this journey is to relay an experience from a number of years ago. 
I was hungry. Not one of those end of the day, peckish, longing for a snack to tide me over yearnings. My belly was crying out as it’s own Oliver Twist, “More please!” But there hadn’t been any firsts to offer a second of. My naiveté of distance, conspiring with my penchant to slip by breakfast, forced me to play the role of the unmoved authorities to Oliver's and the boys pleading.
Now seated in the dinning car of the overnight train to Nairobi, I was ready to give attention to my personal Oliver and grant it the much needed "more." The serving staff brought out the first course. I recoiled in fear and dismay - asparagus soup. Like a kid finding underwear under the tree at Christmas, I felt the universe had betrayed me.
Asparagus, that pretentious weed, floating in a questionable pond of cream. Is there, in all this wide world, a more cruel use of dairy than as soup stock? What poorly resourced cook was so desperate as to heat up milk, throw in the devil’s creeper and proclaim it “good?" As if God could ever bless this unholy mixture. 
But I was hungry. My hollow stomach looked at the bowl as an sign of hope and comfort and wellbeing. My mind though, lit up like a blazing neon sign, “WARNING! WARNING! Great green gobs of ugg are in that bowl.”
But I was hungry. The single need of my gut was to get filled, green gobs of ugg, notwithstanding. 
I stirred the soup, watching the tiny green boats ride out the swells. Not fully committing myself to relieve the maddening hunger, I tentatively picked up half a spoon of the swill. I hesitated, for my tastebuds, those tiny bumps wise in knowledge of culinary good and evil, tried to crawl out of my mouth. Oh, how I loathed asparagus soup. 
But I was hungry and the badgering, harassing, provoking need to eat took over. I sipped from the spoon. Not a lot, just enough to quickly swallow before gagging. 
What was this taste? What beauty of flavor in happy marriage of cream and herbaceous plant. What joy of delicate spices which washed over and baptized my tastebuds bringing them abundant life. It was pleasure and peace of mind and contentment all rolled together.
Taste and see how good God is - even as a naked bear served by a transgender Christ. 

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