Sunday, April 25, 2010

BLT: Manna from Heaven

Today’s blog post title piggybacks off of yesterday’s discussion of biblical literacy. BLTs rank at the top of my list of expectations for Heaven, even to the point of serious comparisons with the manna the Israelites received in the desert. What’s that you say? You think I’m being melodramatic and sacrilegious. How dare you! This is no hyperbole, friend! I am going to be mightily disappointed, and frankly a bit miffed (talk about an eternal bait-and-switch) if I get to Heaven –and, mind you, that’s a pretty big IF to begin with—and there are no BLTs.

Don’t get me wrong. I love incense, I am down with singing hallelujahs, I can gyrate with the movement of the spheres, I can bask in the warmth and radiance of the empyrean light show, but eternity without a BLT…gasp…gulp…breathe in, breathe out.

Surely the summum bonum will include BLTs. I know, I know, I know, once we possess the beatific vision there will no longer be a need for anything else, but damn it, I love BLTs. It may not be a want or a need, but can’t it just be a nice bonus, a little lagniappe for fighting the good fight, racing the good race, being the good person.

BLTs possess many of the essential ingredients of salvation history. It is an allegorical symbol of God’s bountiful grace despite our manifold iniquities. When I taste that savory, crispy bacon, it not only makes my mouth water in ineffable delight, but it reminds me of the prodigal son who ate with the pigs before he humbly returned to his father to beg for his forgiveness. We are all prodigal sons and what better way to remember that than to eat bacon.

The perfectly toasted bread with mayonnaise spread all over it to an alluringly bright sheen is clearly an allusion to both the manna in the desert, which surely you have already surmised from my previous mention of it, and to the breaking of bread in the Last Supper and in the Holy Mass. Now, I’m not saying the bread is transubstantiated or anything, but its symbolism serves as a gentle reminder of Christ’s sacrifice for our sin and a sweet foretaste of the banquet that awaits those fortunate enough to attend the wedding feast planned for the elect.

Finally, as we all know, the Lord was quite fond of garden imagery. Recall the mustard seed story, or the sower and the seed parable, or his frequent reference to vineyards. No one can read the New Testament and fail to take note of Jesus’ affection for all the fruits and vegetables and general abundance of the garden. The tomato and lettuce remind us of the potential nourishment we may hope to receive if we tend the garden of his teachings and make our souls a soil conducive to the spiritual harvest of the triune God.

As you can see, BLTs symbolize many of the dogmatic principles of the Christian faith. It must not be folly then to hope for this trifling good to also be present in his eternal embrace. Its softness, lushness, and sumptuousness are a well wished for ambrosia that no doubt the Lord will supply to our hearts’ contentment. Maybe there should be an icon of Jesus eating a BLT, or on second thought, maybe not. : )

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