Thank Goodness for Faith

Archived | April 3, 2015 | By

Listened to the show Saturday, and it was not bad. Been a solid few weeks, I say. That visit to the Caribbean seems like a dream now. Funny — at the time I took those few photos, I was random and nonchalant, and now when I look at them, they bring those days to life.  I’m not dwelling, though, mind you. That was indeed a lovely time, and I ate and saw and felt things I’ve not felt before. Pure adventure. But now is now, and I finished triple-checking cookbook #2 for errors and such, and got the kids’ Easter baskets ready (one last time, I keep saying, but we’ll see how that holds up next Easter), and I did some cleaning and baking and driving-to-pick-up, and now one is asleep and one will be on her way soon and one is out in the woods somewhere letting the air and plants and trees fill her up.

During Holy Week, which this is, I tend toward quiet. Because I was born and raised in a Lutheran church, which helped to shape my beliefs and how I see things, I can’t help but be thoughtful. The story of the Passion is a powerful one, and I feel humbled this time each year by the mystery of it all, and can’t help but wonder how jellybeans and rabbits and brightly colored eggs got into the mix. (Though I’m glad they did; Spring is something to celebrate, and candy all over the place is a good way to do it.)

But there is something else happening here. Now, I’m not going to go on about what I believe, and how what this or that group believes is a bit off. The right or wrong is not my call to make, and, frankly, no one knows much of anything for sure. We tell ourselves we do, but deep down there’s that nudging, “What if…”  Thank goodness for Faith. It allows us to rest our thoughts a bit and say “Yes” to a mystery, to say, “I choose, this to believe.” And, given how we are, not everyone is going to agree on to what the “Yes” is spoken.

What I love about this week is the mystery. How loud the silence is when the sanctuary is empty. The sense of connection with the ages. That tiny flame burning bright, resting in a red jar, suspended over the altar. The Presence. And the story of a man who gave his life for everyone else. Seems to me we ought to take a cue from that one.

Happy Easter to you, my dear friends.

Here’s one from a dear woman who, I believe, does little but bake and give it all away. It’s easy enough to whip up today, for wherever it is you’re headed tomorrow.

Sugar Cookie Bars

2½ cups flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 T sour cream
1 tsp vanilla

½ cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup half and half
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
food coloring (optional)

In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add egg, vanilla and sour cream, mix well.
Stir in flour, baking powder and salt; blend well.
Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan and spread mixture out in this.
Bake at 375 17-20 minutes until edges are slightly browned. Set aside to cool.

For the frosting, cream together butter and powdered sugar and the half and half until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and salt; mix well. Add food coloring of your choice.
Frost your cooled cookie base. Cut into squares before serving.