Judson folk, many thanks for your comments, emails, and messages concerning the post from last week. How about we shift from what you love to what you don't particularly like? Feel free to comment as a post, or email - gtnorvell(at)gmail.com, you can also find me on the twitter (but I'm not much of a tweeter) and I'm on the facebook, usually posting extremely corny and dry sentences. If you send me a request I will happily reply.
So what do you hate? Several years ago an intentional clergy group I was a member of met in Louisiana for a weekend retreat. The leader was a retired pastoral psychotherapist, a fantastic person. As we sat around the table one morning after breakfast he asked us all to play a game, "what do you hate?" We were all hesitant to play, who wants to say out loud what you hate, what if the person next to you loves what you hate? We were all resistant to continue and began spouting off extremely safe things: mayonnaise, yes I do not care for mayonnaise but I have developed a taste for fancy garlic aioli on hamburgers; dew topped grass on August mornings - I hated having football practice on weekday mornings and having to lay on wet grass to do calisthenics. After a few rounds we started having a blast at this game. I'll stop here though and let you pick up. Or try it yourself with a few friends one night, I'll bet you'll be surprised what emerges and how good it feels to voice it.
If you are reluctant to list the things you hate. Then how about the things you regret (nothing serious here, we are only beginning to know each other). Examples: I regret introducing my children to Triumph the Insult Comic Dog on the day before we left for a two day drive down the east coast. I regret the day when my father and I were fishing and his small bait box fell into the stream that I did not dive in to get it, I had the better angle.
Funny how even playful stories of hate and regret can be brought to the fore our of minds as if they just happened.
As a pastor I love to visit people, especially home visits. Folk generally feel obligated to feed me during these visit, but do not. A cup of coffee or cold glass of water is fine. One time a person offered me a particular dish, and trying to be as nice as possible I remarked that it was a tasty dish (but it wasn't). As you can deduce every time from then on this person made me this dish, saying it was my favorite. I never had the heart to tell the person no, so every time I would force it down. Which brings me to the title of this post. I'm sure someone will serve me a helping of lutefisk while I am in Minneapolis. Believe it or not I have had a serving of it...once. Once while in RI (RI has a historic Swedish population) a parishioner offered me a piece of lutefisk. After I forced it down, the host asked with expectant eyes, "what did I think?" I replied, "it was the best lutefisk I ever had."
As a pastor I hate to say things that upset people, especially when it is something dear to their heart like lutefisk, a dish with mayonnaise in it, pickles, or meatloaf. No one ever wants to think that people that they love do not love the same things they love. So whenever I prepare a dish of chicken livers feel free to say with a smile on your face, "those were the best chicken livers I ever had."