Utah Promulgation: Piquant Provisions
There is a film I have come across in my time here in West Plains that seems to fit into a theory I have regarding a connection between food and the spiritual life, and it doesn’t always fit for some but I consider it a general rule. If you are happy with your bland, tired, same old, subsistence of foodstuffs, then you’ll be happy with your bland, tired, same old, subsistence of church life. “Babette’s Feast” is the tale of two sisters whose father founded a spiritually austere church in a small town in Denmark, and allow a well-known chef (unknown to them) to cook for them for many years. When the chef, Babette, comes in to some money she wants to present the sisters a feast they have never experienced, in return for the kindness they showed her. The sisters allow the feast but promise each other that they will not enjoy it or proclaim the sumptuousness of it all. Only one person at the feast for 12 people, recognizes the beauty and luxury of what is presented in each course as it comes. Soon, all participants give in to the flavors and repast, intoxicated with joy they find the emotions they had denied themselves all their stringent lives.
I have had the ability to visit a few churches here and there in the past couple of months due to our 4:30 meeting time at TLC. One thing that surprises me about what is happening here is that people are unsatisfied with where they are and choose to go someplace of seemingly the same presentation. That is to say, there isn’t much difference from one church to the other that I can see, admittedly acknowledging that one or two visits cannot reveal the heart of a people. The last church we went to was an Assemblies of God church. I was of high expectations due to the rumors of the Spirit moving throughout these people. Sad to say though, these people were completely lifeless. I could see the leadership and worship team desperately trying to excite the church once more. I recognized that this was once a place where He moved and flowed, but the people have forgotten to taste and see how good God can be. There is a reason God uses so much of our senses in experiencing Him, and tasting Him is a provocative thought. God has given us many good things to tantalize and please the senses and food is one thing we can metaphorize to who He is. In other words, I see a strong connection of flavor and taste of food and appreciating and savoring it compared to appreciating and savoring our Lord. I don’t want to get heretical here, so we’ll just leave it there. And I just expect you’ll understand… or you won’t.
Restaurants come and go in West Plains, and most of them are just the same offering of a different locale. People get all excited and then they just go back to the same old, same old when the feeling has worn off. Much like they are with the church offerings in town. It is of an individuals expectations to flavorize their own life if they miss what they may have known; like my wife and I have done as we find ourselves among people satisfied with the plain.
As I said before, there are exceptions, and my wife and I and my family try not to be snooty when it comes to what we find at potlucks and such and we truly are grateful for just being invited, for the people are spicy enough for us.
I miss really good pizza. And there is an okay place here in West Plains, although it has changed locations three times and management more than I can count, but they keep going, which is appreciated. One place that I will insist on going to on our supposed trip to Salt Lake City is, The Pie Pizzeria. The Pie as it is affectionately called, has been a staple restaurant at the University of Utah for as long as I can remember. You access The Pie by going down a dark stairway just off of 2nd South and East of 13th East, right near to the University Pharmacy entrance. The walls are covered in graphittied up brick and the tables are big; big enough to fit one of their 23″ giant pepperonis! Covered in cheese and hidden underneath are big slices of pepperoni, that any well traveled kid such as myself could enjoy 5-6 slices. Although it was later in life when I came to enjoy the delight of the Combo. There is nothing hidden about the Combo, everything is there for you to see.
Strange Confessions: We once smuggled a back-pack full of beer into The Pie and sat at one of the back tables, hiding and consuming our seriously illegal brews for at the time we weren’t even of age. But I don’t think the staff much cared about that, and it was so dim nobody could see any which way, besides we only had eyes for the pies being brought out and set on the tiny stands over the little candles every pizza place use to have.
The Pie used to be a place where you had to do some planning to get there and get yer pie. But for 10 years or so now, The Pie has sprung up in several places in the valley including Midvale and *gasp* South Jordan. Which is kind of a good thing, but also kind of a bad thing… if you know what I mean. And, in the intervening years of “fancy” pizza, The Pie has diversified even more. But the one thing you can always count on when visiting The Pie, is an exciting array of flavors, and loads of cheese.
Just you wait my friends. Just you wait.