From the Rectory – October

As well as being an expert on the history and culture of Italian Cuisine, Mario Batali is an accomplished chef, restauranteur and media personality in his native America. Like most chefs he is passionate about the quality of produce that he cooks with, and he’s especially keen to see that the fruit and vegetables that are often discarded are put to good use. And it’s not just because of the waste. As Batali says

“We need to figure out a ‘harvest system’ to collect the produce that stores don’t put out for customers to buy because it’s not perfect looking. Frankly, the stuff left to rot in the storeroom is more beautiful to me than the perfect carrot. I’m a gnarly carrot kind of guy.”

The ordering demands of many of our UK supermarkets mean that the fruit and vegetables supplied have to be a certain shape or size. And they won’t accept deviations. Anyone who eats foodstuffs grown in their own allotment or garden will tell you that if they only consumed what looked ‘perfect’, they’d soon go hungry.

Where have we got this idea that only the unblemished is acceptable?

The 500 year old Japanese art of Kintsugi turns this idea upside down by taking smashed pottery and repairing it by using beautiful seams of gold. Rather than seeing the end when there is imperfection there is an opportunity to celebrate it, love it, treasure it, value it.

There is beauty in brokenness.

When we first meet David in the bible, he is described as ‘glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features.‘  David is a greatly celebrated King, but he is also deeply flawed. After a particularly shameful set of events which saw David plot the death of a man who was married to a woman he desired, a repentant sorrowful David prays to God in words recorded in Psalm 51

‘You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise’

Those things we might rather keep hidden or thrown away, that’s what God wants. Our brokenness. The ugly, twisted and gnarly parts of our lives. Given over to our King.

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