I worked as an orderly at a nursing home when I was a teenager, and I met a woman there named Minnie. She had a great personality and she was a joy to care for.
I would be called to come and help the nurse's aide move Minnie from her bed to her chair and back again. Minnie had only one leg so she couldn't help much in the transfer. But she made our job easier by being lighthearted and fun-loving.
She had some interesting tastes in treats. She always had a supply of Horehound Drops and Pickled Pig's Feet in her room. She would order them from a shop in town and they would deliver them to her.
Minnie got me to taste her favorite food items one day. They tasted different than anything I had ever had up to that point, but they were okay.
The fact that I tasted her Horehound Drops and Pickled Pig's Feet and didn't spit them back out made Minnie happy. And that made me happy.
I have enjoyed many different taste treats over the years.
Growing up in a predominantly Scandinavian community in North Dakota, I had my share of interesting things to eat.
I have always enjoyed blood sausage. It is exactly what the name implies, sausage made from blood. My mother would fry it in butter and my brothers and I would enjoy piece after piece.
Another family favorite was milk dumplings: big, thick drop dumplings boiled in milk. My mother's second husband, who was not a connoisseur of Norwegian delights, said there was absolutely no nutritional value in that meal and he refused to eat it. But, I loved milk dumplings.
Lutefisk and lefse is another Norwegian favorite that we enjoyed, especially the lefse.
Lutefisk is whitefish that has been soaked in lye. It has a real strong odor, which turns many people off.
Lefse is a Norwegian flatbread, kind of like a large tortilla, made from potatoes. We would spread butter on it and then sprinkle sugar over that and roll it up and eat it, piece after piece. We would eat that at most holiday dinners.
I have enjoyed trying different foods over the years.
I really enjoy sushi, something my wife won't even try. When I eat in a Japanese restaurant, I usually order squid salad too, of course Lynn won't try that either. I usually eat Japanese food on my own.
We all have different tastes in food. Some like spicy foods, some like sweet foods, some like salty foods, and some like everything fried.
I read somewhere that we have between 2,000 to 8,000 taste buds on our tongues. Each one of those little things has a different job. But we are born with the ability to taste.
Several verses in the Book of Psalms make reference to our ability to taste in relation to our contact with God and the words of Holy Scripture.
Psalm 34:8 says, "O taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him."
Tasting and seeing that God is good is implying that we need to give God a chance to prove how good He is.
A common refrain that I hear quite often, says, "God is good...All the time... and...all the time God is good."
Those of us who have tasted of the things of God know that He is good...all the time.
Psalm 119:103 says, "How sweet are God's words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!"
God wants us to taste and see how good He is. He wants us to taste and see how good His Word is. He wants to prove Himself to each of us.
Believe me, God is good...all the time!
Taste and see!
Doug Dezotell is the pastor of Mt. Lebanon UMC and Cannon UMC. He is a former staff writer for the Times-Gazette, and he is a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a friend to many. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.