The Power of Soul Food
I love my mama's cooking, but my grandmother... her genius in the kitchen was a marvel to behold. It was her superpower, and she knew it. Without fail, the ritual of Sunday dinners would draw us in like bees to honey. Family, preachers, if you didn't have a place to eat on a Sunday, you could swing by Ms. Johnnie Mae's house.
But you better not disrespect it.
In all those years of Sunday dinners, I never remember witnessing an argument or hearing a voice raised. Not at her table. Not at her house. Only laughter, jokes, and maybe a little cussin' from the matriarch just to see how the newbies would react.
What you did last night, last week, or last year didn't matter. All were treated the same at the big dining room table filling up the kitchen.
Now, I realize that things could not have been as pristine as my innocent eyes would see. Family is family. At some point, somebody's going to mess up or get fired up. But there something about that woman's kitchen seemed almost sacred. It wasn't until years later cooking for a new husband in my twenties that I realized the power of a good meal.
It was my first marriage and if felt at times like the arguments would never end except when I was in that kitchen.
I don't recall a single day that I stuck around to learn Ms. Johnnie Mae's artistry, but somehow it stuck to me and with me.
How do know?
There were no arguments in my kitchen, there were always new faces at my doorstep for a meal, and the full plates always came back clean.
All this from a woman in a toxic marriage with a broken heart.
It was a hard time, but I kept cooking.
Life had been hard for Ms. Johnnie Mae, but she never stopped cooking.
Jesus had been betrayed by friend and foe, and yet, it didn't stop the resurrected Savior from feeding the body, mind and spirit of His sheep - the disciples.
Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. ~John 21:12
The disciples didn't have to wonder who Jesus was.
His sheep know His voice.