Found in the Midst of an Aching World
By: Ashley Morrison
“Medicine: the art or science of restoring or preserving health or physical condition.” Though some may argue the definition is flawless, there is one critical point that Webster overlooks. We are human. We are made up of more than just the physical content of our being. Drugs and chemicals may restore what is physically lacking, but what steps in when we are physically perfect, yet mentally or emotionally hurting? Hippocrates once said, “Let food be thy medicine.” The truth is that neither the greatest amount of money nor the finest scientists in the world can mend a broken heart or make memories last a lifetime. But food? Food has the power to accomplish all these things, and more.
Ask the sixteen year old girl lying in her bed for days due to her first heartbreak. I’d bet that she’d give anything to be able to swallow a few pills and suddenly feel better. But we know as well as she does that it is not that easy and a broken heart cannot be cured through medicine. The cure comes with a best friend and a sad movie and a huge tub of mint chocolate chip ice cream. There is something healing about skipping the middle man, aka: the bowl, and eating straight out of the carton.
What about that coworker who is always found with a smile on his face? The one who just lost his father to cancer and whose spirit is broken? If only there was some syrup he could sip that would rebuild the hole that seems to be empty inside. So what do we do? We make a casserole. Somehow, someway we pour all the love we have for this person into that dish and take it over with the best smile we can muster. Casserole by casserole, that coworker makes it through this mourning stage and is eventually back to his cheerful self.
Ask the beautiful bride and groom on their wedding day. Sitting on the table, their wedding cake looks gorgeous enough to be in a classy, prestigious magazine, yet there it is, at their reception, one of a kind, made just for them. Words cannot describe the pure bliss they have in their hearts as they eat this cake, the big dreams they have in mind or joy of the promise they have made and received. Fast forward to exactly one year later. The honeymoon is over; house payments and balancing checkbooks amongst other things have turned them both into the type of spouse they never thought they’d be. They pray for a miraculous cure, dreaming of a medicine that would inject them with the kindness and compromise they used to bring to this relationship. Bitter and on the verge of breakdown, they hesitantly pull out the top tier of that flawless white cake that has been saved in their freezer for their one-year anniversary. The couple sits at the table where harsh words have been exchanged and cut into the same cake that was cut into a year ago. With each bite, memories come flooding back like a dam that has just been broken and they are swept away, irrepressible and buoyant, in the authentic and true love once again.
Think about the millions of people who have it all together on the outside; good looks, great jobs, plenty of success. But, when you look a little bit deeper you see men and women who are lonely and full of worthless feelings. Some turn to depression pills to fill this void, but they are never fully effective. However, to the small villages in the slums of Afghanistan, tea has the power to cure this lonely feeling. Author of Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson writes, “The first cup of tea, you’re a stranger; the second cup of tea, a friend; and the third cup, you’re family.”
You see, food is much more than a nourishing substance or a too