On Saturday, I left gray and blah Boston for ten days in God’s Country: Minnesota. I cannot tell you how good it is to be at home. More than just escaping the horrid winter weather of New England (Boston got slammed with that huge snowstorm the next day…give me below zero temps and bright sunshine any day!), coming home gives me a chance to take a break from being a grad student, an MDiv, and the other roles I play in Boston and allows me some time to be a St. Joseph Worker, a parishioner, a roommate.
I spent a year with the St. Joseph Worker program after graduating from college (and to any young women who are looking for a volunteer program with a progressive bent, I cannot tell you how amazing of a program it is…you should definitely check it out!). During my year, the five of us who lived in THE Big Red House spent a lot of our time together eating, cooking, and eating. There were hours shared over containers of hummus (crackers became known as HDV’s or Hummus Delivery Vehicles on our grocery list). There were stirfrys and omelettes and enchiladas and…well, you get the picture. Food was central to our community and we understood it as a chance to BE Eucharist with each other.
Coming home, then, means being able to spend time with amazing people over food. I feel a bit like I’ve been eating my way across the Twin Cities. And it’s been an absolutely amazing experience. Brunch yesterday, at my FAVORITE breakfast place in the Cities (the Louisiana Cafe, in case you’re curious), was with a fellow SJW and one of our “honorary sixth roomies.” The sixth roomie is a an MDiv at a Lutheran seminary and the conversation provided a place to talk theology without having to talk theology. Dinner was Chinese food with some other friends and I don’t think there was a minute during the conversation where we did not have trouble hearing each other over the laughter. Dessert was shared with some fellow SJW alumnae.
Add in the coffee dates, the dinners out (my mom is out of town and so there’s been a lot of take out this week), and the meals still to come…and it’s been one long reminder of the importance of sharing food and community with people. I have a hard time being mindful when I eat in Boston. Even when we do our weekly Wednesday Night Supper Club, I find that I don’t experience the same level of awareness of just how important sharing meals together really is. Sharing the Eucharist on Sundays shouldn’t end when we walk out the door. Whenever we are blessed to be able to share a meal with others, we should be aware that there is a sacramental element to it.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, my tummy is rumbling and I see frozen custard in my future.
Becky Chabot is a third year Masters of Divinity candidate at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. After graduating from Creighton University, Becky lived in Bolivia and spent a year as a St. Joseph Worker (www.stjosephworkers.org). Her research interests include Latin American liberation theology, intercultural theology, and social ethics. When not doing schoolwork, she enjoys Bob Dylan, Doctor Who, knitting, and good Scotch. She also enjoys figuring out peoples’ Enneagram numbers, Myers-Briggs types, and Hogwarts houses. Her main blog is entitled A Traveling Theologian.