I have an addiction. It's not a normal addiction to something like alcohol or drugs; it's an addiction to sweets. This wouldn't be such a bad thing, except for the fact that I have been diagnosed with gluten-sensitivity. For the non-bakers out there, almost all desserts are made using flour - aka gluten. Every cookie, cake, and pie has gluten in it. But needing to feed my addiction to desserts, my cool sense of logic prevailed and I realized that the majority of pies only have gluten in the crust. The delicious filling does not contain flour, which means I can enjoy the best part of key lime, pecan, apple, and chocolate pies. Armed with this knowledge, I have now mastered the art of eating pie. I have learned how to eat the inner goodness of a pie without letting my fork touch the crust. No knife is required. When I am finished satisfying my sweet tooth, the pie crust is left perfectly intact so someone else can enjoy it.
Now I know what you must be thinking, and yes, one can buy gluten-free food. Many of the gluten-free foods are actually quite tasty. Some brands are so good that it's hard to distinguish the difference between foods containing gluten and those which don't. Yet the dessert mixes still need some work. All cookie and cake mixes I've tried leave me with a bitter aftertaste in my mouth. The only gluten-free dessert which satisfies my sweet tooth is the brownie mix. In fact, the brownies are so good that my family prefers them to the regular brownies. The reason for this is because the gluten-free brownies contain more chocolate, which makes them taste delicious.
The other day, as I was rummaging through my pantry looking for something to satisfy my sweet tooth, I realized that people are often like gluten-free food.
Let's face the truth. Anyone who lives with a chronic illness is different. Being sick doesn't make us worth less than those who aren't sick, but it does make us different. The problem is that like gluten-free food, we often decide that being different is a bad thing. Once we begin to think like this, we allow our sickness to cause us to become negative and bitter. But just as all the gluten-free cake and cookie mixes leave a bitter taste in a person's mouth, our negative outlook on life will also leave a lingering aftertaste of bitterness in the lives of others.
Being different doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing. We can choose to let our sickness make us better than we were before we became sick, but it is something we have to consciously decide to do. It requires effort on our part to taste like the gluten-free brownies, but when we choose to become better because of our sickness, people will notice the positive difference and want to know our secret.
So what do you taste like? Are you like the majority of gluten-free desserts which are bitter and leave a horrible aftertaste, or are you like the decadent gluten-free brownies which leave people wanting more?
"They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous...But that is not the way you learned Christ!...Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." ~ Ephesians 4:19-20,31-32 (ESV)
© June 13, 2012