“Where in the world do you think the SuperSaver meat comes from?” I ask. “I hate to break it to you, honey, but Peter’s cows on the farm are the exact same kind of cows that get plastic-wrapped and stacked into the meat case in the grocery store. The same kind of cow that’s sitting in a package in our freezer right now.”
“You will eat the meat,” I declare, turning to glare at him in the back seat. “You don’t become a vegetarian today just because the cows are too close to the kitchen.”
I think about all the ways I opt for the plastic-wrapped, neatened-up version instead of facing the hard, ugly reality. Like when I write the check to the local food pantry instead of showing up in person to look a homeless man in the eyes as I place a baked potato on his plate.
Or when I know I should pick up the telephone and call the grieving friend, but I send an email instead, afraid to come too close to her hard, raw pain.
All turned out well at the farm. Noah swallowed his fear. He sidled up close to discomfort and he took a bite. He ate the meat. I watched him from across the table, nodding encouragement as he took one tiny bite, then another.
“It helped that I couldn’t hear them mooing,” he admitted, and I laughed, nodding. “Yeah, I know,” I said, my hand on top of his sun-warmed hair.
So what about you? What are some of the ways you keep your faith or service all tidily wrapped up in plastic?