Butter and Rest: Blood and Irony

It is annoying to let yourself down. Especially when you disappoint yourself over an absolutely foolish and arbitrary goal, like I have this week. Because I am literally the only person who cares that I did not succeed in getting out a post every single day. Actually, I have been told (politely) that this blog would be much easier to follow if it was a little, how should we say, LESS. Prolific is the gentle and diplomatic term that was used by my Superior Nephew and he is not wrong. But here I am, on a Saturday, having only published 3 fairly mediocre pieces in the last week and part of me wants to make excuses, and the larger part of me is saying (not very politely) — dude. Nobody cares. Heck, hardly anybody noticed!

So I am swinging hard the other direction. If I am going to disappoint myself, I had best go big, right? Which is why I am offering you a Sabbath breakfast recipe that I have never actually made, but am about to. Now I will proceed to make excuses, er, explanations.

Now the title makes sense, right? Blood from the oranges, irony in offering an olive oil cake for butter and rest? Get it, get it??

The reason (much nicer word than ‘excuse’) for this untested recipe comes down to the alternate title for today’s post: Blondes and Blood Oranges in the Belly of a Whale. These connect, in my mind if nowhere else, so hang tight…

I went platinum blonde this week. If you have never done such a thing (and the hairdresser, with a giddy gleam in her eye, much like what an elementary school child looks like when you tell them to spit on purpose, indicated to me that most of you don’t and that she is thrilled to have someone who will do “crazy” things to their hair. This is still an improvement from the last gal who finished her hack job and started laughing that she had made me look just like Heat Miser from the 1960’s Rankin and Bass Christmas special… but I don’t think that is a big enough improvement to brag about), then you will have to take my word for it that the Lord God has filled our world with amazing color possibilities. How can we not stand in awe of the diverse beauty in the world before us? Need more proof?

I found a Costco-sized bag of blood oranges this week. Oh come on, you haven’t gone platinum and you have never cut open a blood orange?? People!! The color of the flesh is stunning, ranging from bright red to a dark purple (something you will get to experience on your cutting board and countertop for a decent length of time if you do not clean up the juice quickly). I find them captivating, and in a desire to share with you a moment of awe in the glory and kindness of God, I am handing you a recipe for blood orange cake that I have been looking for a reason to try in the hopes that you, too, will be driven to worship.

But there was more to it for me this week…

Because truthfully, I find myself in the darkness of Jonah’s whale lately.

Wait, you say, don’t you kind of always live down there? Ahem. Do I make comments about your dwelling place? No. Manners, please.

But sure. God in His providence has given me enough time pacing along the ribs of trials that yeah, maybe it shouldn’t feel so dark today. Should being my least favorite word and all… a wise friend gently and humorously pointed out, well, wouldn’t we expect the belly of a whale to stink? We can’t really be surprised, right?

True. Yet it does seem to me that God gives me moments where this whale of mine is leaping up above the water and I get glimpses of light through its open mouth and flexing gills and others where the darkness is stifling, oppressive, where we seem to be bottom-dwelling an awful lot. And when the latter happens, it thrills me to my toes to have bright spots, like blood oranges and blonde hair, come rolling across the floor, bumping my toes and proving to me that I am not forgotten, that the Lord will sustain me under the water as faithfully as on land.

See the color. Make the cake. Worship the Almighty.

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