Thursday, September 3, 2009

Comfort Food

The thatch has disappeared from the top of my head and now the shakes are disappearing from the top of my roof. As I write this, my house roof is being reshingled. Now that’s a set back. I will drop a chunk of change. How am I supposed to respond to that? But wait. This week, I did something I have never done before. I tried out for a TV commercial. My daughter in law Gina does this regularly and this week she told us that her agent was asking for an entire family to audition. This commercial would be for a product to minimize Alzheimer symptoms. Take One. As they videod us in the studio, my son Jeff and Gina and grandson played pretend soccer and wrestled playfully as Christine and I looked on with obvious delight. Take Two. Gina walked with me at an imaginary beach and I was asked to feign the effects of the neurological disease. Another take projected my condition six months after starting this medication and my mind is back in charge. Christine then followed this up with her own version of a stricken senior. If I or we get the part it means a few thousand dollars. And already my head is full of big ideas of how it can be spent. I am singing the Beatles song, ‘Act Naturally.’

They're gonna put me in the movies
They're gonna make a big star out of me
We'll make a film about a man that's sad and lonely
And all i gotta do is act naturally

But what if I don’t get that part? Will I be crushed? How will I handle that? We all respond to changes, pressures, setbacks, reversals, conflicts and adversity differently. Some never stop complaining, singing the blues, finding faults with whatever. Some see the bright side. Some lose their appetites and others go on a feeding frenzy. Some simply find comfort in eating certain food items. Call it comfort food. Could be pizza, or pop corn, or blizzards, or Kraft dinner. What do you like to eat when you are feeling low? Is there a particular food that picks you up or calms your spirit, or is enough of a diversion that it feels like comfort? It might be chicken soup, or spicy pasta, or hot porridge, or homemade apple pie with a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Psalm 25 is comfort food for the soul. It's an alphabet soup for the soul. The reason I call the psalm an alphabet for trouble is because David has written an acrostic poem with each verse beginning with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It’s called an alphabetic acrostic. There are seven such psalms (25, 34, 37,111,112,119, and 145). We can’t see this in our English translations of course but knowing this gives me a valid reason for calling this my alphabet soup.

Addendum: I didn't get the commercial. They called my wife back. She is obviously a more convincing person with blank moments. Clearly I am jesting about the gravity of this let down. But we have them - true heartaches and comfort food truly helps.
"To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul;... guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior,and my hope is in you all day long. May integrity and uprightness protect me,because my hope is in you." Psalm 25:1,5,21

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