Congratulations! You’re engaged! Pop the champagne and get ready to hold your left hand up, because you’re going to be showing off your ring. A lot. And you should also get ready for a barrage of questions, because you’re also going to get those. Once you get engaged, you will have the same conversation over and over again for weeks, until you have so many instances of deja vu that you begin to worry there’s a permanent glitch in the Matrix.
I should know. I just got engaged last week. And it’s been great! I’ve been so struck by the outpouring of love and excitement from friends and family. I’m very much looking forward to spending the rest of my life with the man I love, and it’s been so great to celebrate our engagement with our nearest and dearest.
I’ve also been struck by the repetition of questions. And it makes sense: there are standard protocols that come with an engagement, and people are genuinely interested in the details surrounding it. But when you’re the one providing the same information, over and over, it can get a little daunting.*
“O Lord, Bend my hands and cut them off, for I have often struck thee with a wayward will, when these fingers should embrace thee by faith. … Destroy O God, the dark guest within whose hidden presence makes my life a hell.”— The Dark Guest, The Valley of Vision
“I wanna swim inside the blessings
I wanna swim inside the blessings of the Lord.”— The Gates, Young Oceans
“God is Gracious.” That’s what the name John means, the name that a fearful and skeptical priest gave his miracle-son. At least, that’s how the story goes. It’s one of my favorites, in particular when I’m faced with the reality that a table of grace is before me while I prefer to gnaw on the old bones of my fears and over-inflated sense of importance.
The story goes like this: a priest past his prime draws a lot to burn incense in the temple. While he stood “at the right side of the altar of incense,” an angel appears to this priest to tell him that the prayers he and his barren wife had prayed for years were to be answered. Not only were they going to have a son, they were going to give birth to a prophet who would herald the coming of the long-expected Messiah.
This old priest, probably worn out from years of disappointment, fearful at being granted an unexpected appointment with the Divine, still can’t be sure that this is God. So the angel renders him mute until the child is born. On the day the baby was to be circumcised, the family’s neighbors and relatives were going to name the child Zechariah, after his father, that old priest. Zechariah would have been a solid and meaningful name for the child–it means “God remembers.” Yet the name the angel gave and the name that Elizabeth, Zechariah’s wife, offered was “God is gracious.” But no one in their family had been named John so when they asked Zechariah about this choice in name, he wrote down “his name is John,” an admission that the divine promise had been fulfilled and that God didn’t just remember–this time, God was gracious. And suddenly he could speak once again. Continue reading
By the time you read this, I will be in Maputo Mozambique! Since I am not around this week, I figured it would be a good time to do a throwback post. Flashback to past recipes. This post catalogues some of Realistic Dietitian’s most popular recipes, so if you haven’t had the chance to make these yet, give one a try this week and tell me all about it when I get home.
The Realistic Dietitian will be off next week, but I will be back on July 27th with a new post about my adventures (culinary and otherwise). Until then, bon appétit!