Sunday, April 22, 2012

conflict to embrace

sometimes when we are leaving the grocery store there are those young people who ask if we have a "minute to save the children."  it's always hard for me to trust them (I've personally been scammed before).  At the same time, its difficult for me to tell them no, i don't have any cash i can spare to save the state parks as i walk by with my shopping cart full of organic strawberries and artisan pale ale.  it's a rough double-standard that I have plenty of money to drink small-batch beer or organic mint-chip ice cream but not for the beggar on the side of the street.  

the majority of our income is spent on two things - mortgage and bills and then food.  realistically, i have to admit to myself that, compared to a lot of people, I live at a standard better than others.  Being an engineer, I'm probably going to be earning more than others in more labor-intensive and even dangerous jobs.  

i've read a lot about how God wants us to enjoy his blessings.  no problem there.  definitely convinced.  no matter how much i read, how much i experience, how much i hear from other people, i can't be completely at peace with it.  I don't mean to say that this is burning a hole through my heart.  I don't struggle spiritually because of this.  And i do believe that God is okay with me choosing to spend more of my income on food of a better quality than mono-dehydrated oils.  

But i believe that, while God gives me the grace to enjoy these foods, he also expects my soul to remain raw to the reality of the world i am called to be a light and a blessing within.  

Jesus asked his disciples what good does it do for a man to gain the world but lose his soul?  I believe he means that it is better for a man's heart to be hurt than to become so cold and hard that not even the simplest compassion can penetrate.  It is better to have flesh that can bleed than to be a statue made of stone, to ache than to grow numb.  

Since I stopped running from Jesus almost twelve years ago, I've felt more pain than I ever have.  And the emotional wound I suffered that stopped the running was bad.  And, yet, i've felt more than i ever have.  I've felt more love than I ever have.  The wound that stopped the running also opened my heart to feel what I was always too stubborn and scared to feel.  

I am at peace with who I am and I look forward to how God plans on stretching my soul and all those challenges and stuff.  I'm at peace with the fact that I can earn more money than others and can afford a more luxurious lifestyle than others.  

But until the day that Jesus restores the kingdom and that material things of the world are no longer needed, I cannot rest the conflicts in my heart.  I cannot stay at peace with the fact that there are still people who starve to death while California state officials host $800k conventions.  

And on that note, here's a photo timeline of a sourdough made over the weekend.

Blue-Cheese & Dill Sourdough with Toasted Sunflower Seeds

4:00 pm - Danish Blue-Cheese and Dill
4:30 pm - Dough placed in floured banneton,
 to rise in fridge overnight
Next day - 7:00 am - Dough placed on
counter after overnight rise

7:02 am - Dough scored with "x" pattern, about to go into oven

7:05 am - Dough placed (carefully!) in dutch oven
 preheated to 450 deg. F then covered with pot lid

7:35 am - Loaf after 30 minutes of baking with pot lid on
(to bake w/ steam escaping from dough as it bakes)

7:50 am - Loaf after 15 minutes of baking with
 pot lid removed (to brown)

8:00 am - Loaf after additional 10 minutes of browning

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