Thursday, August 23, 2012

GUATEMALA 2012: (36) If I Were A Cook

My recent changes with my employer have resulted in 4 mornings a week being spent at STUB (Shepherd Transitional Underground Bunker). At first I was not pleased with this development, finding it acceptable only because it was necessary to get us to our June 13, 2013 date of moving to Guatemala. Over the past couple of mornings though, I have found my perspective shifting a bit... due to Guate coffee, eggs, and some prayer.

I have been a master omelette maker (self-imposed credential) since a class in high school first had me cracking two eggs at a time, one in each hand. Even then I didn't really like step by step instructions, choosing rather to cook by sight, touch, and taste. But, this morning I though I'd try something different.

I was looking at ingredients left over from last night's fajitas that flooded my senses with taste and smell memories of breakfast in Guate. Brewed coffee from the volcanic soil of Antigua was already softly flavoring the air as I opened the refrigerator door and my eyes began to focus on: black beans puree, jalapeño pepper, bell pepper, onion, marinated chicken breast, sour cream, Salsa Brava Picamas sauce, eggs, and tortillas.

I heated up a small non-stick skillet and coated it lightly with olive oil. When it was sizzling hot, I dropped the diced onion, bell & jalapeño peppers onto the steaming surface and breathed in the satisfying aroma. After flipping them a few times with my favorite spatula, a simple flexible plastic sort, I added the chopped marinated chicken while the black beans warmed nearby. I added some fresh ground black pepper for a little extra kick. 
The onions and peppers found that special color and texture that means they are cooked and still a bit crispy and I quickly pushed them into the warmed tortilla, rolled it tight, and garnished it with the Picamas and a spoonfull of salsa. The black bean paste went alongside with a topper of sour cream. Coffee freshly topped off, I sat down and enjoyed the tastes and textures of the porch of Mimi's House.

There are moments in life that are meant to simply be enjoyed, breathed in deeply, and exhaled with a smile. The table runner holding my delectables was purchased by Kellie at the market in Antigua. I remember Nellie and her daughter rolling it with care and handing it to us after we paid the asked price. This morning had become one of those moments that fuels the soul and warms the heart.

Not every day is comforting, and not every experience is enjoyable. Each one of them does however take us closer to our life work and passion. Every sunrise pushes us like a ray on a wave towards our vision. This morning the sun shone warmly and I felt the embrace of being exactly where I am supposed to be. I needed this today.

A friend of mine asked me a question last week over a game of UNO (you know who you are... by the way I have won the last two). He asked, "if money was no issue, and you could do anything that you wanted with your life, what would it be?" After a moment allowing my mind to wildly skim the vastness of possibilities, I told him... "exactly what we are going to do." 

We only live once. I may not be a chef, but I can cook a mean breakfast. I may not be an author, but I can write a blog. I am no artist, but I can recognize the beauty of a painting by a child in Guate. I am no saint, but I can take whatever I am, whatever I have... and I can fold it into my belief.

We sent out our August update to our partners last night and I again double-sent the email. I have to laugh at myself as I bumble through all this newness. I have to think that errors will come with the risk. Even so, I am at peace to be walking this beautiful road. 
As we watch God take our small bits of faith and create an amazing bounty from the ingredients of our life, I am beginning to smell the aroma of his work. We sit at the table of God and we find that His provision covers our doubts and fears. 

And so... if I were a cook, I would still want to be in this place. 294 days to Guate.

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