The Theology of Turkey Bacon
Another morning. It's 4:30 and the sun is up. That's about 2 1/2 hours better than winter at year's end. It's light enough to maneuver through the Little-House-On-The-Corner, unsteadily navigating around the shoes, books, and tray tables on the way to the coffeemaker.
The Elixir of Knowledge is now happily brewing, laying down a syncopated rhythm for the bird band outside. I open the fridge door and begin to rummage.
Forgot I bought this. Well.
I quietly put the teflon griddle on the stove and twist the dial to 3. I "tear along dotted line" to reveal this morning's adventure...turkey bacon.
Okay, it was on sale, (half the price of the economy "clumps of dead pig jammed into plastic" bacon). Figured I'd try it.
Two bucks is two bucks.
I pull out half-a-dozen strips. Peeling 'em off, I put 'em down side by side.
They're perfectly formed. They're all identical, even down to the two-color dye job to give 'em the appearance of bacon. Somewhere in the far corner of my mind, I hear a folk ballad line from the 60's.
"And they're all made out of ticky tacky and they all look just the same."
Oh, yeah. Sing it, Pete.
There's the faintest of sizzles coming from the griddle. Not the pops, bangs, and explosions that happen with those globs of pork belly.
Just a quiet, discreet sizzle as if turkey bacon goes out of its way to be polite in its cooking.
"Oh, excuse me, I didn't mean to sizzle that loudly. Did I offend you? My apologies. Oh my, did I pop?"
5 minutes later, I run the spatula under and up to place 6 identical pieces of perfectly pressed and formed strips on a plate. Identical thicknesses, widths, and lengths. Even the pink and white strips browned in such a way that their anonymity remained intact...like going to the zoo to look at the zebras and they're all at the far end of the enclosure.
The griddle hardly has any grease on it. Minimal mess. Minimal fuss.
Well, the moment of truth. Crispy. Crunchy. But...
I wash the mouthful down with a big pull of the Elixir of Knowledge, the bacon going down as a thought pops up.
It's a verse I've learned but it comes out in the W.A.Y. (Weird Al Yankovic) translation.
"Having a form of bacon, but denying its porky-ness..."
Another pull of the Elixir tightens the focus. Really. Um. Am I doin' that?
Do I want my relationship with Him to be nice, tidy, well-planned, and regulated? No surprises, no messes. So that part of my life fits nicely into the rest of my life. Like turkey bacon on a BLT. Nice edges. Nice presentation.
Another sip. Another question asked.
Do I want the real thing? As opposed to a nice, clean presentation that looks like the real thing?
It could get messy. Real messy. But He says it's the only real way to know Him.
As the song says: "Just as I am".
Just as we are.
He could care less about the presentation...that just gets in the way of what He really wants to do for us.
He wants the real me and you to really give Him all of me and you.
All the lump and the twists.
All those weird and unseemly irregularities.
Will we still stick outta the sides of a BLT? Probably.
Will there be a mess? Most definitely.
But He will do fantastic things, using us in incredible, extraordinary ways.
Like what real bacon does to watercress.
And those overcooked chicken livers.