I have been delighting in a website called Tinybeans which keeps me up to date with the growth and progress of a friend’s baby. Today was the saga of his introduction to carrots and it didn’t go well. John made it perfectly clear that he was not going to eat those orange things, regardless of the efforts of both his parents to encourage it. It is fascinating to see how babies react to tastes. (I, for one, found carrots in the top three vegetables and still do!) At this point, John does not have language to refuse – only facial clues – no matter how his parents coax him. Later on, perhaps, they will cajole or demand compliance when encouraging acceptable behavior, or will make “deals” with him in the traditional “if/then” process: “If you eat your vegetables, then you can have dessert…” but for now, he wins.
It may be stretch, but John made me think of this morning’s reading from the prophet Isaiah. (58: 9b ->). The stakes are much higher in what Isaiah is proposing, however, and the promises are quite tempting. Listen to yourself reading it aloud:
Thus says the Lord: If you remove from your midst oppression, false accusation and malicious speech, if you bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted, then light shall rise for you in the darkness and the gloom shall become for you like midday. Then the Lord will guide you always and give you plenty even on the parched land. He will renew your strength, and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring whose water never fails.
Can you feel the light rising in you? If not, try turning off all the lights in the room you’re in and stand in the dark for a moment or two. Then turn all the lights on at once and see what you can see. And thank God for all the promises you have been given.