At our puzzled look he repeated himself again.
“I think he said Mom’s creamed peas.” I said.
Envisioning peas floating in a creamy sauce, The Preacher decided that sounded like a good side to go with his fish and chips.
It’s not like he wasn’t speaking English. It was just so heavily accented and quickly spoken that our untrained ears strained to pick out the words.
It was our first lunch after arriving in London. Strolling into the ancient corner cafe with confidence, we did well with our selections until the waiter tried to tell us the sides available.
When our meal arrived we stared with curiosity at the preacher’s unappetizing-looking side. It was a creamy mound of pureed green stuff. It looked like green mashed potatoes.
“What is it?” he wondered.
I took a tiny bite and started laughing, “ I think he must have said— mashed green peas.”
The rest of our days in London, we discovered they were enamored with mashed peas. I guess it makes sense because they are English peas.
Then in Ireland we ran into one of their traditional sides, Black Pudding and White Pudding. Again, The Preacher was the only brave one in our party of five.They looked like a black sausage patty and a white one.
When inquiring about them, the waitress couldn’t tell us much about the white one, but the dark one was made with blood. What?? He bravely ate a couple bites each and then set them aside.
Eating with the culture is something The Preacher tries to do. Me, not so much. I’m not a very adventurous eater.
Paul was all things to all men.
He had the freedom to eat the meat sacrificed to idols, but it was offensive to some, so he refrained.
What does that mean for us today?
In Mexico, a conservative culture, it meant choosing not to wear pants to church while on mission trips. When in reality, I hadn’t worn a dress to wednesday night church in years.
It means when I’m at the rescue mission, I’ll wear old jeans and a T-shirt and serve dinner to the homeless while having a conversation with them.
It means being conscious of others feelings and trying to accommodate them without compromising our own faith.
If I am careful not to offend in my dress and language,
If I am cautious not to gossip or slander,
If I’m not flippant, thinking no one should care,
Does it mean I have to eat mashed green peas with a smile when the hostess plops a mound of it on my plate with a jovial grin, expecting me to be delighted?
1 Corinthians 9:22 To the weak I have become weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.
-Does your speech, actions or dress have any cause to offend others who might be weaker?
-What are you willing to do about it?