I had a dream ... my dream was a bit unusual for me. Most of my dreams show movement, action, activity. This was different. In my dream I just saw snapshots ... pictures appeared in front of me ...
I saw a snapshot, a photograph of a restaurant kitchen. The stainless steel tables were brilliantly shining, that impossible glossy texture that is only possible when knives have not yet sliced against them. The stoves were perfectly clean. The shelves held unused pots and pans that shone and sparkled, flawless and polished. There were spices, all completely full, unopened, unused.
And there was all of you ... you were all there ... in this kitchen. You were smiling for the camera and pointing at the fantastic beauty and wonder of it all.
Snap. Another picture appeared in front of me ... this one in another part of the kitchen. It was equally clean and unused, beautiful. You could see and sense the excitement of all these new chefs with their beautiful kitchen.
Snap! Another photo appeared, another pose with everyone holding a beautiful stainless steel pot above their heads. Smiles all around.
Snap! Another photo, this time everyone pretending to cook at the stove ... but the fire wasn't on.
The photos went on and on and I was thinking to myself. Well look! This must be the organic body of Christ at the beginning in their new kitchen, they're getting started and ready to cook. But the pictures kept coming and I begun to realize that none of them actually included any real food or any real cooking. Oh how exciting and blissful that kitchen was, but since there wasn't any cooking, I begun to wonder where the food was, and why taking pictures were so important.
Picture after picture of people who were excited about their kitchen but apparently never cooked anything or scratched those beautiful stainless steel surfaces.
And then, of course, I woke up. Not with any strong sensation on my mind from the Lord, but with an amusement. I was chuckling to myself about that kitchen that there wasn't any food ...
So perhaps its a warning not to focus too much on our new digs (the kitchen) in Christ ... to instead focus on the food. Preparing the food ... utilizing the kitchen rather than taking pictures in it.
We aren't here to create picture perfect moments. We are here to be real, to scratch the counters, to chase kids through the kitchen, to stir the sauces, to burn the food sometimes or even to undercook it other times ... to put the wrong spices together and discover something new ... unusual ... different ... gross even? But yes, to cook.
Cooking involves chopping and slicing, it involves seasoning and preparing. Sometimes it involves time ... like when I make my own bread and it has to sit on the counter for a while to rise and prepare for baking.
I think it is same in the spiritual realm. We need to focus on not just seeing Christ and expressing Christ, but also on preparing the food in His kitchen. The raw ingredients are all there, but if we don't know how to use them and put them together, we will just be taking pictures of those raw ingredients, and many of them won't be edible in that form (anyone want to have a tablespoon of cinnamon? Watch this, if you're interested: )
I think we have to bring raw ingredients to one another, and talk about the food we are preparing. Then we should chop them up, process them, contemplate them. I'm not sure it takes 30 chefs to work on any individual raw ingredient, but smaller groups of them can obviously work together or individually on the ingredients. Perhaps that's the majority of the work ... our work with one another.