My husband is the cook of our household. I can cook, but I don’t enjoy it the way he does. He can dream up huge meals and countless courses. I, on the other hand, think of all the people I can invite to dinner. We joke about how we would be starving without him, but thanks to me, we have a great social life!
Sometimes I pitch in, just because I love the companionship of working together over a project. Some of our best memories are made when we make tapas for our friends. We spend a couple of days preparing everything, enjoying the flavors, the rubbing of shoulders, our kids sneaking in to make sure that everything tastes as it’s supposed to. Magical moments. Our friends volunteer to make them happen.
Usually, we make simple food.
Nothing complicated, just plain, ordinary, happy food. We rarely make the same dish twice, we just improvise as we go along, depending on our mood and whatever we find in the kitchen. We love the freshness of flavors and the fragrance of the herbs, the promising crunches of the fresh salad, and a few golden drops of an oil that brings out the beauty of everything it kisses. It’s the song of a meal.
Last weekend we outdid ourselves. We spent a few days in the Southern part of Norway because we had work to do, but in between, we prepared long meals to be enjoyed at the deck while embracing the sun that lovingly lingered. This is the land of the midnight sun. Not enjoying it would be a sin.
My husband hummed excitedly as he came over with a bag of … weed.
No, not that kind! Just regular weed, of the kind that destroys life, ruins beauty, and generally takes over. Oh well… He came in with a bag of ground elder, beaming happily as he placed it on the kitchen counter: “I found dinner!” I studied my grinning husband before squinting at the weed that was now all over the kitchen counter. Still not convinced, I retracted to the deck and left him to it. Did I mention that he is the cook of the family?
Within minutes an exquisite fragrance of ground elder soup lured me back in. It was delicious! As we sat at the deck enjoying our weed (still doesn’t sound good, does it?), I thought about how something that yesterday seemed like a waste of space suddenly had gained value. Yesterday’s negative was today’s positive. What had bothered us for weeks, suddenly filled our stomachs and made our hearts sing.
Suddenly, I found my inner housewife and made wild garlic pesto. I know you’re amazed, as was the rest of the family. But no-one was more surprised than I was. Wild garlic pesto. Just like that! Some may think that’s nothing special, because they probably do that all the time. You see, we are not from the same planet. They are aliens, while I’m just an ordinary human being. Regular humans do not collect wild garlic or make pesto. Amateur chef husbands might. Aliens might, too. I don’t. Except this weekend. My long-gone inner housewife shone her bright ramson light of accomplishment. Don’t worry, she’s gone now. She was overworked and underappreciated. Gone in a heartbeat!
Weed turned magic.
The lazy evening hours at the deck left me thinking about the weed of my life. What do I consider useless, annoying, worthless, and invasive? How will it be affected by some appreciation and a gentle touch? Will it be enough to convert it into something that may bless others and fill my heart with gratitude?
How about those experiences from the past that add a bitter aftertaste to the meals of today? Will the salty taste of grief bring out the sweetness of thankfulness? What will it take to appreciate the refined flavors of a life lived fully?
Nothing is wasted.
Our Heavenly Father takes whatever the enemy intended for our misery and turns it into something beautiful. Worthy. Tasty. Lovely. In this Kingdom, our loss is counted as gain. We lose our life, but we gain his. One season for an eternal life.
What we consider to be the weed of our life will serve its original purpose when subject to the Lordship of King Jesus. The creator makes everything new. It’s in his nature. Nothing is ever wasted.
In case you wondered, we practice what we preach.
On our way home, we stopped by a field and picked dandelions. Not the evil roots or the icky stems, just the bright yellow heads. I cooked them with lemons and sugar and made dandelion juice. Just like that. Turns out that my inner housewife is a domestic ninja.
Surrender your weed, y’all. You won’t regret it.
* Disclaimer for my Norwegian readers:
No, ground elder is not abuse of the elderly. It’s skvallerkål. 😉