Thoughts on waging spiritual warfare with a pizza box and a chicken.
It happened again
today last week. I committed to bringing a meal to another family and all hell broke loose.
The mom to whom I was bringing a meal mentioned that a stomach bug was going around the community. She really hoped they didn’t catch it, because her kids were just getting over a different bug and that had made them seriously ill for a week.
I stood at the kitchen counter, hand in midair to measure out Dijon mustard for a favorite easy, delicious chicken dish. It was mid-afternoon, and Girl 1 had a friend visiting (from a different family). If the girls amused themselves well enough, I figured I might even be able to make brownies once I got the chicken in the oven. Then Girl 1’s visiting playmate rushed into the kitchen, hand cupped to her mouth.
She had just thrown up.
I cleaned up thoroughly, but I couldn’t shake the fear that a few of the stomach bug viruses might cling to the pans I planned to bring. Abandoning my cooking, I went to the grocery store and picked up a rotisserie chicken and some sides.
It occurred to me: so often when I try to make a meal for someone, everything goes wrong. There was that time I set off a fire in the oven and the fire extinguisher coated the kitchen in powdery chemicals. I clearly couldn’t cook that night, so I had pizza delivered to the family instead.
Then on a recent Monday morning, I tried making a meal for another family and Murphy came to visit. Everything that could go wrong did. I brought the family a rotisserie chicken.
And now today. And so many other minor meal-making mishaps I can’t recall now.
Am I crazy, or is Satan out to get me? More specifically, is he out to prevent us from doing works of mercy?
I attended a CCD program for eight years that used insipid curricula. The only thing I learned from CCD was that we were supposed to be a community and do nice things for each other. In my mind I demoted these concepts as not really important, at least not as important as the difficult, divisive issues that the CCD books skirted around: sin, the Real Presence, sexual morality, and the like.
But what if it really is important that we build community and practice acts of service? I’m beginning to think Satan thinks it’s important. I belong to an exceptional, dynamic parish community, and sometimes it seems really clear that the devil is trying to tear it down.
It’s possible, even probable, that I’m blowing my bad luck way out of proportion. But I don’t care. My little theory motivates me to keep bringing meals, even if they rarely turn out the way I want them to. And I like to imagine myself fighting spiritual warfare with a pizza box for a shield in my left hand, brandishing a rotisserie drumstick in my right.