Comfort and Care
Last January, I made the commitment to go outside for a little while each day. I can't believe it has already been almost a whole year since that decision. This journey into solitude, by pretty much going nowhere (just to my own back yard), has been truly life-giving.
Of solitude, Ruth Haley Barton says...
In the quiet listening and noticing that solitude affords, I am able to monitor the ways I allow [my body] to become a bit run down so it is not quite up to the rigors of meeting with the living God. When I am able to open up to that reality in God's presence, it becomes an opportunity to work together with God on fashioning a life where the needs of the body are cared for as a part of my commitment to the spiritual journey. (p.67-68)
I have always been a person who's fairly attuned to my body and its needs, but I realize that Barton is right. In going outside almost daily, lying back and looking at the sky, I've become even more willing to take moments of rest, to seek silence, and to accept that caring for my body's needs are part of the spiritual journey.
Indeed, I recently started running again, after almost twenty years of being away from it. Somehow, the urge to run got all wrapped up in the new things I'd begun to feel in my spiritual journey in my own back yard. This too has been life-giving. A great comfort and another level of opening up. Often, after I run, I find myself writing in my journal or over at Love Notes to Yahweh.
So the running then became a way back to another part of my spirit and the Spirit, thus beginning a new experience of prayer and worship. Who knows where this will take me? Next January I'll be back here to think it through. In the meantime, I pray for you: a renewed sense of finding comfort and growth in taking care of your own body and spirit.
Oh, and for the road, here's a little comfort food. Simple and nutritious.
Layer and bake about 1 hour or until tender, covered, at 400 degrees...
- a 1 to 1/2 inch layer of baked beans (your favorite canned, or using recipe below)
- Tofu pups (soy dogs) cut into rounds and put in baked beans
- a layer of parboiled sliced potatoes (parboil 4 or 5 potatoes about 10 minutes)
- salt and pepper to taste over top
Finish by broiling briefly, after adding...
- some cheddar, shredded, over potatoes
- bread crumbs over cheese, if desired
- a few pours olive oil
Serve with garlic bread, sauerkraut and a salad or broccoli.
Cook stovetop, for about an hour or until tender...
- 2 to 2 1/2 cups soaked dry great northern beans in enough water to cover
Add and cook until thick...
- 1 TB Frontier brand "bacuns"
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 2 tsp dried mustard
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- salt to taste
- 2 TB worcestershire sauce
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LL's Taking Care