You’ve got a message or a special gift to dish up for someone in particular. You have cooked up a rich blend of spicy ingredients, simmered up a savory, enticing aroma with a meaty constitution that could satisfy and add zest to their life. But timing and presentation is everything—how warmly do you walk in relationship with them so that what you share is easily digested, and not bitter, too raw, overly pickled, or otherwise unpalatable? To Stew—or Not to Stew?
Sometimes issues in relationship need to be coddled a while, basted with real and positive conversation from both sides, kneaded with respect—but things can quickly sour and curdle. The need arises to steep awhile in what you know to be good and kosher about the person, clarify what is really being said, and boil it all down to address the feelings that may have been sliced and diced in the preparation process.
Sometimes you speak up, sometimes you bite your lip and say nothing because there is simply nothing that can—or should—be said. Silence can be the ultimate garnish upon a friendship.
How do you know when it is time to stir it up, dish it out, or let it roast awhile longer? Or, scrap it altogether and start afresh, perhaps with a different recipe?
Know and practice the difference between marinating and smothering, word-mincing and puree, warming and flambé. Stewing can be a good thing—flavor increases and what is shared can be rich and tender. But we can let it go on too long and boil over, creating a messy disaster.
It is all about timing and gentleness, things we can be prayerful and deliberate about.
Bottom line—if we serve what we have to give with love and a desire to bless the other person, seasoned with the salt of honesty and kindness, chances are good for a gentle melting of defenses—so that we end up with ‘heavenly hash’ instead of ‘devil’s food’.
To Stew—or Not to Stew?