Thursday, March 4, 2010

Eating Summer

Several nights ago, I unearthed a gallon Ziploc full of frozen ratatouille in our deep freeze. Something else was on the menu for dinner that night, but it was set aside. I really needed to eat that ratatouille.

Until a couple of years ago, ratatouille was unknown to me. Yes, we'd seen the movie and while I loved it and how it portrayed the power and beauty of food, it didn't give me a hankering to give the actual dish a try.

My first taste came on Labor Day. We'd brought a big bag of tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant from our garden to church the day before and the next day a huge pot of ratatouille showed up, via our friends Stephanie and Joe, at our doorstep (along with a little black golden doodle puppy but that is another story). We had the dish for dinner. All I can say is, "Heaven!" It is truly amazing what a bunch of tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, onions, garlic and spices can become with some work and patience.

Ever since that day, ratatouille is the food of summer when the ingredients are plentiful, cheap, fresh and can be found right out the back door. It says "Summer" to me. The other night I needed to eat some summer. It was wonderful even after it had been frozen all these months.

And it got me thinking...

I think I needed to eat that food because somewhere in my brain the coming of summer and spring mean hope. Hope for long days, the color green, brownish kids and WARMTH. It seems I am not alone in my wanting for hope - just listen to the talk around you or on Facebook - everyone seems to be wanting spring to come. We all need some hope.

Hope is a powerful thing and it has pulled many people through troubled and dangerous times. I think of the stories I've read of prisoners of war, people suffering through cancer, those grieving a loved one and, recently, a man the Big Guy and I knew in college, Dan Wolley. Even little kids have hope. The hope of a sucker after her nap got little Abby through the first nap without her nuk.

Of course, hope can be placed in many different things - parents, big payout, a season, a quarterback, a generation. Unfortunately, not one of these things are completely reliable places to bestow hope. It might just snow in the middle of May.

God is the only place in which we can hope and be sure. 100% sure. For a number of reasons, the past several months have been hard around the homestead. Really, really hard. Life was a bit muddled at first, but we had the hope of Christ. All is not yet settled, but hope is there. Whether or not there is snow on the ground, we KNOW that Easter is coming! Praise God!

Psalms 39:7
"But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.

Romans 5:1-5
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a]have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.


  1. I've been talking about you.