Of sweet, sour, salty, bitter, bitter was always the one I couldn’t quite get my tongue around. Did you ever wonder why, when your tongue only gets 4 tastes, it has one like bitter? I mean, given the choice, who says, “oh, I’ll take the bitter one, please”? According to dictionary.com, bitter is “having a harsh, disagreeably acrid taste, like that of aspirin, quinine, wormwood, or aloes.” Yuck! I am thinking our Maker gave us bitter so we would know what to spit out when we tasted it.
But what happens when we have to swallow anyway? Go ahead, imagine: aspirin melting on your tongue, sipping quinine. Are you scrunching your face up right now like I am? What happens when life serves us a heaping helping of bitterness?
Honestly, my life is pretty sweet with occasional sprinkles of salt and sour. I don’t have that much to be bitter about. If I did, I would probably be the bitter type. But Tom’s sermon examples did call to mind folks who have every right to be bitter, but aren’t. They choose not to be.
Like my 13 year old golden retriever, Rosy. She was born with displaced hips that now, in her aged and extremely arthritic state, creak and crack when she sits. She needs help to stand and sometimes loses her rear footing. But when she does she simply drags those back legs behind her until she can get them under her. She suffers a hose bath without complaint, sports the cone of shame like a halo and wags her tail whenever she greets me, even when it is pill-time! There is not a bitter bone in her body.
Then there’s our Floris friends the Buermeyers whose beautiful young daughter’s kidney syndrome blindsided them. They could have chosen bitter but instead they chose better. They decided to hoist the huge effort to coordinate a 5K run event to raise funds to find a cure. What a glorious day!
…I CANNOT get these photos to line up right on the blog! I am trying not to be bitter about this but…