I have two for you today.
I am the shape of evergreens,
ever upward, strong, true,
swaying when the wind speaks,
lovely in the snow.
I am the shape of golden beams,
rich and familiar, bask in, yet
cannot hold, slow, gentle burning,
still and never still, only here a while yet.
Our father named me Forget,
he named my brother Faithful.
I wonder if he knew, when he called me,
what a weight it is to live into
that name. A name that calls me
to be louder than sorrow.
I wonder if it is that name
which caused Jacob’s hand
to find Faithful more suitable
for blessing than I. My father,
for once, did not forget,
he righted his own father’s hands;
but Jacob did not forget either.
I’ve been told he stole his blessing.
I suppose he thought Faithful
should not have to steal
like him. I suppose Faithful
is easier to rest the promise
of a nation upon, than Forget.
I’ve been angry with you,
God of Jacob.
Angry as Jacob surely was most
nights, when the stars loomed above
and their promise seemed to rest
on him alone, the nights where
the stars laughed and mocked
from their untouchable beds.
God, friend of Abraham,
who ate Abraham’s food,
and whose feet were washed
with Abraham’s hands.
“How,” Jacob groans, “could he stand
every moment after you touched him,
looked at him with visible eyes?
How did all of life after You,
not quake, and diminish into longing
for your eyes again?”
Jacob remembers, see,
a night that the stars climbed
down to see him, and he heard
their laugh, it did not mock
as it had – it bounded forth,
contagious, wise, letting-go.
And that day, their promise
was his dearest friend.
When eating is something that happens only three times a day (or two times, if you wake up at 11) it becomes a sacred thing.
It has only been two days since I started being intentional about eating meals and nothing in between, but my perspective on food has already begun to shift. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are objects of great anticipation. They have become a gift.
And because they are a gift, I savor them. They bring joy.
Better still, they become times of communion.
This was God’s instruction to his people when they entered the Promise Land:
“There, in the presence of the LORD your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the LORD your God has blessed you.” — Deuteronomy 12:7
What if we embraced that – and eating a meal became a way of claiming the Promise Land, a way of proclaiming God’s goodness?