Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 17:8
My mother saw it before I did. The small banana pepper was the same shade as its stalk and invisible to my eyes. I had seen its beginning, as the flower, then as a tiny fruit beginning to grow. Then I lost it. I just forgot to watch its progress as it grew into a full-size, edible product; a beautiful light green pepper. All that taste hidden among the leaves!
The theme of being “hidden” is a common one in scripture. Psalmists often speak of being hidden away, being protected by God’s almighty hand. Job railed against God because the reason for his plight was hidden from him. In the New Testament, Jesus cautions us that the Kingdom of God is hidden from the wise, but revealed to little children. Finally, the apostle Paul reminds us that at the right time, all that is hidden will be revealed.
There is much in our lives that is hidden from us, much we would like to know. There are mysteries of the universe that science has yet to unravel, and mysteries within ourselves that we wish we understood. We believe in a God who is self-revealing, who profoundly desires to be known by us. But even the best of us, the most ardent student, the most committed seeker will still surely find that their pool of knowledge will be far smaller than the mysteries that are yet unsolved.
We humans, being a curious lot, don’t sit well with the unknown. We crave answers and certainty. God seems to have intended it this way. We pour our efforts and resources into scientific discovery, and those less energetic among us enjoy Miss Marple on Masterpiece Mystery. But we Christians have a delicate balance to strike. We are called to seek, and promised that we will find. We are summoned along the path of discovery, learning more about the world outside ourselves and the mysteries within. Most of all we are called to search ever deeper into the character of the divine, and to be transformed by it.
But the balance lies in accepting the mystery, countering our desire to know with the recognition of the things that are beyond us. This isn’t all bad. There is some comfort in our ignorance. In recognizing the mystery that we cannot solve, we are reminded that our lives are only a tiny piece in a great universe and that – while we are responsible for some care and maintenance – we are not ultimately accountable for its functioning. Put simply: God is God, we are us.
In acknowledging our limits, we also gain understanding for the reason we worship. Through our worship, we experience the glory that comes with participating in something much greater than ourselves. We are able to touch on the divine. We enjoy knowing that the mysteries we explore will not come to an end any time soon, and we revel in a God who is greater than we are.
I wasted no time in using my beautiful pepper. I chopped it up in a salad of spinach and strawberries. It was marvelous. But since I don’t have a written recipe for that piece of the meal, I’ll give you the recipe for our dessert. Mmmmmm . . .
Blueberry Dump Cake
2 pints of blueberries 3/4 c. sugar
1 white cake mix 1 c. pecans, chopped
8 T Margarine, melted
Pour berries into 9x13 pan. Sprinkle sugar, dry cake mix and nuts over berries. Pour melted Margarine over entire mixture. Bake at 325 for 1 hour. (A yellow cake mix may turn the cake a grayish green color.) Serve. Yield: 12 servings. – Diane Taylor
I love everything about this cake except the name. Therefore, I will henceforth call this recipe Blueberry Crumble. Amen and amen.