Just former US President Bush, I grew up with an hatred for broccoli. The sight, smell, or thought caused the contents of my stomach to immediately prepare for ejection. Everywhere it was the same; a dark limp formless mass of unpalatable plant mass that people consumed with equal amounts of white mayonnaise. Rich, less fortunate, at home, or in restaurants the formula for preparing and eating this item followed the same pattern. If this was what broccoli was and is, I am taking a pass!
I do not remember her name, but I am forever grateful. I was on a trip to Los Angeles for a semi-blind date. It is so long ago I cannot recall the year, her name, the city, or even what we did during our time together. I do recall that I found her waiting for me on the curb at the Burbank airport, blond hair blowing in the breeze, nervously waiting for her “date”.
The one event I remember. Her Scandinavian mother served broccoli for our lunch after church. For reasons I do not recall the visit to church unnerved me; something too real and personal about it all. Gathering all my strength and commitment to appropriate etiquette, I accepted the dish as it came around and put a small portion on my plate. If only I knew how this one act would ripple for years to come!
The presentation was flawless; light green, almost a living green, firm with a minimalist look to it (tops were not present), and wonderfully fragrant. One could not find an oily topping anywhere on the table, only a little fresh sea salt if you felt it was required. I found the real stuff in a real way and I ate in stunned silence. The shock on my face played out as I explained with enthusiasm how different and wonderful the dish was. Their puzzlement remained; this was all they knew.
“If you're a vegetarian, eat vegetables to the glory of God and thank God for broccoli.” (Romans 14.6)
Only if is the real stuff.