“Do not my words do good
to the one whose ways are upright?
Lately my people have risen up
like an enemy.
You strip off the rich robe
from those who pass by without a care,
like men returning from battle.
You drive the women of my people
from their pleasant homes.
You take away my blessing
from their children forever.
Get up, go away!
For this is not your resting place,
because it is defiled,
it is ruined, beyond all remedy.
- Micah 2:7b-10
My wife was hungry when we left Sunday school. She suggested that we could go by our favorite fast-food place. Odd, it had been my father’s favorite place, but he liked the burgers. I like the place because of the taco salad and my wife likes the small meals at a good price. We got our usual items.
When we got home, I knew my wife would defer to me to say the blessing. For just a second, I stared at the “meal” before me. There was a bowl of lettuce with a little shredded cheese hidden by what looked like a pressed flower (really thinly sliced slivers of tomato – if they really were tomato slices). There was a sealed plastic cup or salsa, two squeeze packets of sour cream, a bag of corn tortilla chips and a bowl of chili.
My mind was thinking of something that I had prayed quite often. A prayer segment that I had learned from my father, to humbly pray for those who rarely get a thank you. “Lord, bless this food for the nourishment of our bodies and bless the hands that prepared it.”
But I did not say those words, for as I looked at my food, I felt like saying “… and bless the robot that prepared it.” There seemed to be no item in front of me that was made by hand, maybe the chili.
I thought of the cartoon show, The Jetsons. I thought of the song, In the Year 2525, where all existence was taking a pill.
We have not gotten to the life that these fantasies of the future portend, but how far away are we?
People are going to vegetarian and vegan diets, as if they were good for us. My mother quit eating meat, and I wonder if that contributed to her illness that caused her death. She did not supplement her protein. And is that protein powder really food? I wonder if those vegans taking the protein powders know that many of them come from animal products? Wait! Was that supposed to be a secret? My bad!
How much of what we eat is not even food?
And when it comes to prepared foods in grocery stores or fast-food places, did hands ever touch it?
I said a short prayer and we ate our food. I really think the chili was partially prepared by hand. At least, the server did not stir the pot. I got very few beans (which are not on my diet anyway) and tons of meat, but it seemed they needed a little more of the thickening agent. It was a bit runny.
But as for my old prayer, I may pray with gusto after my wife’s next home-cooked meal, “Lord, bless this food, and I praise you that HANDS ACTUALLY PREPARED IT!”
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.