May 22, 2010

An Egg is an Egg

A fictional scenario...

I made eggs for the woman living with me. She thanked me breezily, savoring their taste. I like putting a tiny bit of milk, salt, and cheese into a few beaten eggs. It brings out the taste. The next day, she returned the favor, making not simply eggs, but what might be called an omelet, for it had vegetables cut up into it. Pleased with the result, she made eggs again the next day, improvising a little more with extra spices and one less yolk. Over the next few months the vegetable component of the eggs she cooked increased. Once she discovered tomatoes, and how nice they tasted slightly warmed, that became the predominant ingredient. But tomatoes make eggs watery. Her solution, I noticed was to begin using a bit of flour in the mixture with the egg. (Yes, we were down to one egg, and mostly vegetables, which she would set before me every morning with the happy comment: “Here are your eggs.”)

The vegetables had to be sautéed before going into the mixture, and she began experimenting with a little meat. Meat in the morning, she said, could be a very helpful protein boost. She tried ham, bacon, ground beef, and chicken, settling on the chicken as the nicest, lightest option.

“Here are your eggs,” came the cheery greeting each morning. Actually, it was mostly chicken and tomatoes, with piles of sautéed zucchini, mushrooms, scallions, and red bell peppers heaped over the top. Oh, and an egg, mixed with quite a bit of flour in a cream sauce, to pour over at the end as a sort of gentle concrete. Except, without the yolk part. There was enough protein in the chicken, she decided, and getting rid of the yolk might cut down on some cholesterol.

But of course, cream doesn’t go very well with vegetables like those, at least not in my taste-bud world, nor in hers. So before another week was gone, so was the sauce. And, um, the egg white that had been in it.

“Here are your eggs.” She happily laid the plate before me, a wonderful conglomeration that reminded me of a chicken cacciatore.

I suddenly laughed. “Actually, this isn’t eggs. It’s yummy, but it’s technically not eggs.”

“Yes, it is.” Her voice carried a tinge of huffiness. After some back-and-forth she expounded on her thoughts. “The term ‘eggs’ is a name, really, for nutrients in the morning. It means breakfast, basically. This is eggs,” and she pointed again to the cacciatore.

“In the context of food, ‘egg’ is an unfertilized reproductive body of a chicken or fowl, consisting of an ovum – a yolk – and its envelope. Chicken cacciatore is not an egg.”

“You’re being offensive,” she said quietly and politely, restraining anger. “There is chicken in here – and those eggs you’re talking about come from chicken. Which makes this more truly an egg than your supposed egg itself!”

I looked at her in wonder, very surprised. This had been happening over the months, I suddenly realized, and it had never occurred to me to correct her morning “Here are your eggs” statement, for it had never occurred to me that a human brain would be capable of calling one thing, another thing.

I must confess, I think I stuttered. It wasn’t over the stupidity of the statement. Many stupid things are said every day. It was over the fact that she actually believed what she was saying.

I tried once more, kindly slipping to the refrigerator, pulling an egg from the carton, and bringing it back to the table. I laid it next to the cacciatore. “This is an egg,” I said. “An egg is an actual, real thing. Your wonderful dish is simply not it.” The red mass of veggies and meat laid in a great, steaming pile next to the cool, oblong, white shell I had set down.

Anger in her movements, she whipped the plate away from me and I had no breakfast that morning, whether egg or cacciatore. I was a bit preoccupied – concerned, would be the word – as I made my way to work. How was her mind when it came to other things? Was this some strange sort of senility? She was only 36.

A horn honked behind me. Oh – I hadn’t seen the light turn green, lost in thought as I was. As I looked up and pressed the gas, a grocery semi-truck turn left in front of me, having decided not to wait any longer. I slammed on the brakes. The car stopped in time for me to watch, in slow motion, the huge advertisement plastered on the side of the semi. A Beaver-Cleaver family, in retro dress, gathered around the kitchen table. With healthy smiles on their faces, and succulent heaps of red cacciatore on their plates, the caption read: “Every good day starts the right way. Eggs!”

* * *

Sounds like an episode of the Twilight Zone, right? Well – perhaps not as exciting. I watched an interview last night between Jennifer Knapp and Larry King, then went to bed thinking about the ridiculous hijacking of the Christian church. There really are people out there (a lot of them, actually) who are not followers of Christ Jesus yet insist on calling themselves Christians. There are multiple reasons, on Satan’s part, for using this particular strategy – I won’t go into them here.

What struck me last night, as it often does, is how unmovable truth is. Whatever is said, whatever is claimed, doesn’t change reality. One could keep one’s dead cat in the house for days and days after it had been run over, and continually say that it is alive. Tell your friends and family it is alive. Talk to it like it is alive. But that cat is dead, dead, dead. Sorry to say it, but no amount of make-believe on your part is going to change the dead deadness of that cat.

If God grants that His power would flow through me, I’ll be perfectly happy to come to your house and raise that cat from the dead. But until I do – that cat is DEAD. Truth doesn’t change depending on what’s in our imagination at the moment, or on our tongue.

I am looking for the day when the church as a whole will adhere to scripture. I’ve sometimes wished that we could call another of the great old councils, and let the Body of Christ at large publicly disavow as ‘Christians’ every institution, organization, and denomination that does not adhere to the basic tenants of Scripture. But as I think of it, I realize that this era of double-talk may naturally draw to an end when persecution of Christians arises. On the other hand, it’s possible the liberal pretenders to the name will succeed in utterly hijacking the word (Christian), and real believers will be prosecuted and killed as the ones pretending to the name. I can’t predict at this point. Which means right now there is nothing I can or should do except speak the truth – even if that requires boldness and a willingness to be hated for it. So here, friends is the truth (not from me, but direct from the Holy Spirit through the apostles):

1Jo 3:4-10 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. (5) You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. (6) No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. (7) Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. (8) Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. (9) No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. (10) By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

I love Mike Bickle’s distinction between sincere believers who repent when they fall (which we often do) and on whose record of sin God presses “delete”, and fake believers who use “grace” as an excuse to cling in love to their sin and continue in it. (The word “fake” is mine, not his.) These are two very different hearts, and will be treated two very different ways in the final judgments, just as they are treated two very different ways in scripture. Read the above passage with that understanding. Let condemnation be out of the question for the former (believers), and let conviction be deep for the latter – those who are, according to this passage, “of the devil”. I’m sorry to call them such, but it is the truth, and if no one says it out loud, we will all be guilty of having watched them race toward a long and painful existence of separation from all they were made for, and of having done nothing.


Paul Washer said...

Good job Amy. You had me at cacciatore! Genius.

Rose said...

You don't know me, but your words are a gift. You should write again soon!!! :)

p.s. I promise I'm not a stalker. :)