taste and see: our assumptions

A Rainbow of Fruity Flavor

Taste- chek {khake} in the Hebrew has meaning of: mouth, palate, taste, gums

Have you ever had a conversation with someone who had a personal assessment of something they

never tasted or did? Yet, they are convinced that their opinion is correct, irrespective of trying it out.

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. – Psalm 34:8

The word for taste in this authors poem is the opposite of the above.  It is someone who simply immersed themselves in the food. It’s the person who takes one bite and is transformed by that one experience. Another Hebrew word for taste is ‘ta’am. It means all of this. It means we experience, contemplate, think, challenge, question, sit in silence, accept, and deny all the things we have come to know about God. And the act of doing so is like taking your favorite food and letting it sit on your tongue allowing each fragment of culinary delight to permeate through each taste bud. It is an experience. The word here is a subjective one. Your experience of food, might be different than mine. I may really like the taste of chocolate and you might just hate the whole idea of chocolate. This word in the Psalm is saying that how we experience God looks different for each person. Different, not wrong or right. Maybe you ‘taste’ God by sitting on a beach watching the sunset. Others might find God in a song. Or a collection of books. Or the Koran. Or in the back of concert. Or in the arms of a loved one. Or in a look of someone in need.

The word for see here is ra’ah. It is visual experience. One of the many meanings is to experience. Many others include: to consider, discern, look at each other, gaze, sleep, dream and vision to name a few possibilities. It is also a verb. Sometimes we get so used to things like eyes, ears and nose, we forget that to engage with them require action. Purpose. Passion. Most people spend their time closing their eyes on certain aspects of God and the character of the Creator being we are all a part of. Sometimes it is safer to close our eyes rather than investigate, especially when the investigation might lead us into different discoveries than the ones we have become comfortable with.

Both words require movement. A choice. A journey. We don’t stop seeing when we realize (others might use the words: convert or meet Jesus here) that God is present. When we become aware of its presence, we don’t stop wanting to see, taste, experience, or investigate who the person of God is. If anything, the discovery of new information should spur us onto to more cave dwelling and digging. Curiosity should be seen as a good thing not as enemy. You know what the assumption of the author is? If we continue to dig, probe, challenge and ask, that we will find that God is good. The Hebrew word for good is beautiful. But not just a sunset kind of beautiful. Although, they can leave you pretty silent in your tracks when you come upon one that is enough to take your breath away. One that will leave you speechless for days, because you don’t want to let go of the experience in fear you may never see one like that again.  This is the idea behind our ongoing experience of the divine, that it will leave you breathless and without words. That even silence says way too much. But according to the author this type of experience can only come when we are ready to find God anywhere and everywhere. In a moment. In a leaf. In the slums. In the person next to you. And maybe in the most unlikely of places you think it might not be. (I refer to God as an ‘it’ because God encompasses all genders, races and tongues). God of the whorehouse. God of the man who blows people up. God of the angry old man down the street. God of the mugger. God of the liar. The list could go on. But to truly experience God in all its’ ‘glory’ is to understand that God can be found anywhere, anytime. And that when we come to experience God, we can be transformed. We can be left in a state of perpetual awe. And the author goes on to say that this experience will lead us into a relationship with the divine that will (over time) cause us to rely on God. And if we choose to rely on God and are willing to taste and see, then we come to a place where we are ready to give up our assumptions about ‘him/her’…what are yours?

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One comment

  1. Rebecca · February 6, 2010

    Veeeery nice indeed.

    Like

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