Some Thoughts on Taste

Chicago pizza, where you truly have the option of either an uncut sausage patty or more commonly seen, sausage pieces, covering your pie, is something I can eat most days of the week. I have fond memories of sitting in Uno’s downtown or at Gino’s East a couple streets over or at Giordano’s. In our world of health conscious, obesity fighting, fitness crazed professionals, why then do I like it?

The answer is simple: it tastes really good.  Think then how incredibly powerful our sense of taste is and how incredibly influential our appetites are. If you’ve traveled at all, you’ve tasted different things and some agreed with you, while others did not. Mind you, taste is something very important to us and I dare say, it feeds our subconscious (pun intended) in ways we haven’t thought.

CCDA- "The Dinner Party"

If you have been to any conference, you know that the best connections happen outside of the formal  conference  activities.  The spontaneous meals, prayers in the hallways, and late night talks with old friends and new are the richness of the Christian Community Development Association.  Yesterday morning Mark Charles pointed out that “the American Church has bought into the false notion that relationships can be between organizations.  Organizations do not develop relationships, people do.”

There were several opportunities this week to remember that and perhaps my favorite moment was a “dinner party” that started with my friend Kevin from New Orleans saying, “let’s get together!” and me replying, “I’ll bring my team.”  Next thing I knew we each had invited about five people who then invited a couple more.  When we finally got everyone in the same place at the same time we noticed a few individuals standing around seemingly with no dinner plans so we roped them in too. 

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Travelogue- Chicago

I came to Chicago this time for the annual Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) National Conference.  Last year the conference was in Cincinnati and on the first day I called my mom to tell her I wanted her to come along next year.  So now its next year and Mom and I just spent our first day together in the Windy City. 

Being at CCDA is like being with family for me.  For three days I get to be with people whom I don’t have to explain my life to and who challenge me to love Jesus and my neighbors in deep, deep ways.  I am always excited and awed by the people I meet and the way God is using them around the country to work our justice and reconciliation. 

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I returned yesterday from a conference in Chicago. During a morning break I walked down the street to Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, were I spent considerable time with an installation by Fiona Tan.

“Fiona Tan has arranged six video screens in a circle as a reference to eighteenth-century philosopher Jeremy Bentham's prison model that he termed the panopticon, which means "all-seeing." Bentham's circular building divided into cells allowed guards to anonymously survey inmates from a central tower, suggesting that the threat of being observed would keep prisoners under control. In Correction, this powerful gaze is reversed as prisoners and guards seem to watch viewers sitting in the center of the installation.”

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