Comfort in Covid Times

Moccasins/Slippers made in Aklavik, NWT.

My office has two outer walls and it gets frigid in the winter, so tonight as I sat shivering in my hockey jersey and regular slippers, I remembered that my mother had slippers made when we lived up in Aklavik. I remembered that they had deer hide and fur. I also remembered that I had put them in my cedar chest. They would be just the right addition to my already bizarre outfit. However, no one really cares what they look like when they are cold. Hence the snazzy beaded moccasins that are just the perfect fit and comfort. I would say that these moccasins are by far the smartest looking item in my wardrobe right now. There is a lovely warm fur (sorry animal rights people) trim around my ankles and below that more beading. They have colour coordinated wool tassels that hug my feet and they are accentuated by the gorgeous beaded panel that you see in the picture above. Thank you to the Inuit or Dene seamstress who fashioned them from my mother’s foot tracing. And thank you to Mom who passed them on to me.

So here I sit in splendid comfort typing these words on my computer, the first blog entry I have made in some months. It also brings to mind all the other little comforts we allow ourselves in this time of stressful living. Last week I made meatloaf for supper – a treat I remember my mom making years ago. I throw every leftover I can into my meatloaf and it does taste delicious, I must say. I spend a lot of time playing word games when I am not writing Sunday messages and bits of my on-going novel. I love Scrabble of course, and Wordsee, Word Search and crosswords. I have read all kinds of mystery novels and we watch British television mysteries to the point where my husband says that we should write the sergeant’s exam. I spend a great deal of time on Pinterest where I have two accounts, one so full that I cannot add any more to it unless I delete a lot of items first. And of course I knit or crochet while watching television. Neither of these pastimes will win any blue ribbons but they soothe my rattled nerves.

Last fall I indulged a dream of mine to learn to play an instrument, in this case an African “thumb piano” which I bought online and the book of music to go with it. So far my family has identified my awkward attempts as “The House of the Rising Sun” so I guess I am making some progress. So what I would love to know is what you are doing to fill your time. Have you gone hiking, taken up snow shoeing, learned a new language or begun to write a novel? Also, do you have any idea what I can do with several slightly wonky crocheted berets? My relatives are all “bereted out” or should that be “beretted “out?

Comfort Food

jesus-breaks-the-breadEveryone has a favourite food that not only fills the stomach, but also warms the heart.  Chocolate is a favourite, or sometimes ice cream and even macaroni.  Whenever someone feels particularly vulnerable, blue or upset, comfort food is often the line of first defence.

When I was little and sick in bed with a sore throat, my mother made me snow pudding.  It was a frothy whipped lemon gelatine dessert made with real lemons and covered with custard sauce.  I absolutely loved it and, until I got my tonsils removed at five years old, I had lots of chances to eat it.

I don’t know how my mother made it and I doubt that I could make it myself.  I’ve never had much luck with gelatine desserts.  The fruit always sinks to the bottom and half the time it doesn’t even gel.  Now I know it wasn’t just the pudding that comforted me as a child.  The best part was knowing that my mother made it especially for me, because she loved me.

The need for comfort is universal.  Around the world people in distress yearn for the one dish or drink that will remind them of their happiest and most secure childhood memories.  The recipes don’t matter because the most important part is always the love with which the food was served.  Sadly, no matter how nostalgic we may be for our childhood, simply eating the same food will not satisfy the inner child. Once we’ve scraped the plate and licked our spoons or drained the last drop in our cup, the comfort disappears.

Our Lord Jesus once met a woman in great need of comfort.  Her life was a shambles of broken relationships and insecurity.  She didn’t even associate with the other women in her village who went to the town well in the cooler part of the day. She went instead during the hottest hour so that she could draw her water without their judgmental stares and whispers.  Jesus saw her pain and offered her water that would end her thirst forever.

Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13, 14)

On another occasion, after feeding a crowd of 5000, Jesus said, “Do not labour for the food which perishes…I am the bread of life; he who comes to e shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.” (John 6:27-35)

The greatest comfort food of all is commemorated in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper.  It’s our reminder that, “God so loved the world He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)  Now that is true comfort!

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