I love the multi-cultural diversity that makes up our church. Sometimes when I visit some of our members I feel like Vincent Donovan! The richness of the 'lack of sameness' is so refreshing. I'm learning the importance of accepting hospitality as part of cultural exchange.
I only popped by to drop something off to Ade - I knew I would be offered something to honour my visit but nothing really prepared me for what I was about to receive. "Please have some pepper soup..",
"thank you" I reply relieved - I'd just eaten at home... soup would be fine.
Ade leaves me in the single room where she lives with her mother and son. She soon returns with more of a stew than soup. A quick look in the fading light and I know I'm facing a task. The meat is unidentifiable. The soup is red hot and my eyes are watering. A prod and a push doesn't help me in the identification. Ade's eager eyes wait for me to eat. I gingerly take my first bite. I chew and chew and chew..... and chew.... and chew. I still have no clue what I am eating. For fear of rudeness I keep eating - I eat half before I can go no further. I make my excuses hoping I haven't appeared rude.
"So... Ade... what kind of meat is that...?"
"Gizzard" she replies.
"Gizzard...gizzard?" I bable, my mind wonders furiously
"Yes gizzard ... turkey gizzard"
"Oh!" I say failing to sound enthusiatic but relieved that it belongs to an animal I know.
I drive home thinking 'turkey gizzard...turkey gizzard, what is a gizzard?'all I know is that I haven't seen gizzard in the supermarket. All I know is Bernard Matthews hasn't a breaded gizzard range. All I know is that I have never seen gizzard advertised on TV, or in a Jamie Oliver book. As soon as I get home I have the dictionary open and it made me feel oh so much better.
'Gizzard: A modified muscular pouch behind the stomach in the alimentary canal of birds, having a thick lining and often containing ingested grit that aids in the breakdown of seeds before digestion.'How much broader is my life because of where, and to whom we minister however I am thinking vegetarianism has its advantages!