Food For Thought

Well, here we are on Foodie Friday and my planned food post is a bust. Seems rather fitting for a week that has just been a little off. I haven’t felt well since Tuesday. Nothing serious. I know when my body goes into defensive mode; the immune system kicks into gear to ward off the attack of some random virus or bacteria. This is how I have felt all week. Not the best week in the world, but that’s OK.

My plan was to write about barbacoa. I researched recipes and decided to try one. I did. I did not love it. And I forgot to photograph what I did. Insert eye roll emoji here. There was so much I could have photographed…a trip to Fiesta grocery store with stacks of different types of chiles, nopales (cactus), and many things I had never heard of before. Did I take a single photo? No. I did this shopping on Tuesday after jury duty. I should have known better. I was not at my best.

Last night I discovered that my Tuesday post never uploaded. And then yesterday I had an emotionally charged post on my mind all day before it finally got posted last night. And today, it is foggy, damp, and cold, outside and I am feeling the way the day looks.

Since beginning this journey of writing everyday and sharing what I am passionate about, I have felt like a totally new human being. I don’t long to be or do things that are not my purpose in life. I now believe that I was placed here by God to write just what I am writing. This is my purpose. Whatever happens after I push the “publish” button is no longer in my control. I have the confidence of knowing that whatever I wrote that day will find its way to the places that need the words on the screen.

Maybe I’m feeling the way I am because yesterday’s topic isn’t finished yet. Several months ago I felt strongly about this subject of race and white privilege. I began crocheting red circles for an art project I had in mind. Last night I grabbed my journal and this is what emerged. I had an overwhelming need to express how I feel – how I believe God feels – about us, His creation. We are created in His image. There is no race, no color, only the spiritual image of God.

Today, when I push the post button I’m pulling out the bag with all the red circles and I’m going back to work. I don’t feel I have a choice. I believe it something I must do. There will be no rest or peace of mind until I do.

Human Interference

A subject that has crossed my consciousness lately has been the results of human interference in the world as God created it to be. For example, how many people in your own little circle of friends have health problems due to gluten intolerance?

Back in the 1980s when I worked for a pediatrician, we had a patient with celiac disease. It was so rare that many physicians could go their entire career and not treat more than one or two celiac patients. Today, everybody either has some level of gluten intolerance or they know someone who does. What has changed?

Genetic Modification

In an effort to produce more wheat, make it resistant to bugs, disease, or whatever else they were trying to accomplish, scientists manipulated the DNA of wheat to the point our bodies are no longer able to digest it. It is incompatible with our digestive system. This has been going on for so long that I’m sure all the wheat grown in the United States is tainted.

This is the law of unintended consequences. God created something perfect and we messed it up. There are scientists who want to do genetic modification on humans to eradicate disease and birth defects. Can’t we please learn from the wheat, that we are not supposed to modify what God created? Leave our genetic code alone. Nothing good is going to come from this kind of work.

Societal Modification

So, how does this connect to the discussion of race and some of the problems that exist today? This is my uneducated opinion formed by over sixty years observing society and politics. Take it, leave it, but please think for yourself. Don’t let political or social activists determine your thoughts.

There are all sorts of reasons politicians do the things they do. Some begin with pure motives then get corrupted by power, money, position, or all of the above. Are there people and groups profiting from keeping us separated and fighting? Absolutely. Is there responsibility to be laid at the feet of all groups involved? Yes. Does living a life of victim hood breed anger and resentment. I believe it does. Can one racial group fix the problems within another group? No more than I can fix my neighbors marital problems or solve someone else’s addiction issue.

Any kind of artificial manipulation of people and their lives is just doomed to massive failure. Busing kids from predominately white districts to force racial equity has not improved the education of anyone. Massive welfare programs, originally intended to help alleviate poverty, have made the role of the man in the family obsolete. Two generations of babies born out of wedlock and without the structure of a family, women dependent on the government for food and shelter, just produces more and more of the same.

Government’s manipulation of society has destroyed more lives than it has saved in the fifty five years since Lyndon Johnson created The Great Society with his sweeping social reform legislation. Please don’t misunderstand. Making it illegal to refuse to black or people of color the same access as white people was necessary and about one hundred years late. It was precisely one hundred and one years from the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation to the passage of the Civil Rights Act. Way, way too long. But that’s history and we can’t go back and change it. We must learn from it and not let that kind of injustice linger ever again. But to then go the next step and tell people the “must go to school here” so that white folks and people of color will get along is ludicrous. It didn’t work then and it is still not working. Our education system is mired in political red tape and our children are not learning what they need to learn to make it in the modern world.

If we don’t do something to reverse the trend, we will have a country with two classes of people. The politicians who make the rules and profit from them along with the rich people who pay them off, and the rest of us. Color won’t matter anymore because we will all be on the same pitiful playing field.

The Next Generation

Have you ever watched young children playing on a playground? Do they care what color skin another child has? Nope. They just see a friend; someone with whom they can play and have fun. Their innocence is infectious…if we allow it to be. My grandchildren live in a very ethnically diverse town just north of Houston. In one of the schools they attended the white children were in the minority, with the majority population being black. The Hispanic population was similar to the white. At that time ALL my granddaughter’s friends were black. She liked black boys. Black boys liked her therefore not all the black girls liked her so much anymore. She was in the fifth grade.

During the three years (5th, 6th, & 7th grades) in these schools she had to learn many really big lessons about people and how to navigate through life. I think I learned more from her than she did from me. She got so angry with anyone who judged a person because of their skin color. We had honest discussions about who to accept into your life and what the criteria should be. Color is not the criteria; content of character is the criteria. I felt obliged to put things into context for her so that she could understand why some adults think the way they do, however misguided it might be. I also told her that her generation is likely to be the one to really break through the color barrier; as she and her peers marry and have families the lines between colors will become less and less. She and I still don’t completely see eye to eye, but I trust her judgement and her passion for justice. She will fight for right and it doesn’t matter one bit what color skin the person she’s fighting for happens to have.

We have to heal from within so that we can reach out. The wounds are deep and only the healing power of Jesus Christ can clean out the debris and sew us all back together.

That, my friends is my prayer. I hope you will join me in this, then go out and smile at someone you don’t know, extend an invitation to a lonely person, do one of those random acts of kindness to someone who looks different than you do. Just be nice. Let your light shine in the darkness. You’ll be amazed at what you will see.


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