Ingredients of Faith by William Klein

I was watching a cooking show and thought about the ingredients of faith.  A good meal consists of a variety of tastes, textures, aromas that sit well and leaves an effervescent aftertaste.

Faith consists of the same ingredients in its own way.  The way we respond to our experience is cultivated in the dish of our faith and how it’s served.  The taste of suffering, the textures of responses to pain, the aroma of hope succulently imbues the soul with promise and the effervescent quality of redemption can empower a great aftertaste that leads us forward in new appreciation for life.

When you’re sick you sometimes lose your sense of smell and your other senses may be undermined. When you lose your sensibilities, you’re at a disadvantage. It’s disorienting. It’s confusing and frustrating. You fight to understand where you are why this is happening to you.  On the other hand, there are realizations that come to you and deepen the flavor of life.  You feel your body working to make itself right with the world.

You focus on meeting the needs of the body. You pool your resources of life experience to help you heal. Past experiences help you understand what your greatest needs are in the healing process. It is taking on what it can and making lemonade out of lemons.  Our reasoning process inspires us to sweeten the sour drink with some sugar to make it palatable.

The Covid-19 crisis is mindboggling in its hold over our country and our freedoms.  This week I was diagnosed with the virus. I found myself feeling tired and listless.  I’ve had a dry cough and decided to get tested before returning to school. As mindful as I’ve been in attending to this quarantine, I went outside a few times out of obligation. I let my guard down.

When I saw the “positive” result, my immediate thoughts turned to others and the compromise I placed others in.  I felt saddened by the fact that my presence would put another person at risk. My worst fear of this virus came to pass.

I moved into the basement. I brought everything I needed to stay connected to the world and everything I needed to hunker down and fight the virus.  Books, medicines, grooming supplies.  Everything I need to make myself feel good during a time of discontent and uncertainty.

I find that the very act of writing helps me spiritually in ways that other exercises may not be as effective. I’m limited in my ability to exercise, so I find myself working out the spirit. This experience has forced me into realizing that our bodies are miraculous instruments. I have been experiencing fevers and chills, pinched aches and pangs of desire to be made whole again. I can feel the antibodies cooking in my system and forcing me to go deeper in finding the center in helping me heal. Light meditations add dimension to

I’ve been lucky.  I only lost my appetite one day.  It was more out of concern for spreading the virus that I didn’t eat.  Irrational thinking but true nonetheless.  I didn’t want to touch anything that might compromise items or leave mark of the virus here in the house.

Imposed isolation has forced me to examine the ingredients of faith that sustain me, hence this blog. I realize that I’ve done what I can and it may not be enough, but the daily gifts of friendships, care and concern, laughter and contemplation are the desserts that add qualities to the meal of life that cannot be taken for granted.

Community sustains us as much as the manna that replenishes the vitamins. Faith is a delicacy best served on a plate of determination with a bowl of perseverance. Nothing like a communal meal to remind us we are not alone and we overcome through our interdependence.

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