I love meatballs, although, this has not always been the case. As I was growing up, there was always meat at our dinner table. For a brief time in my childhood, our family raised hogs. (Some had been known to be “cap gun” eating hogs). Thus, pork was one of our staple forms of protein. We also tried our hand at raising geese for a while. (Unfortunately, the hogs not only ate cap guns…they also ate geese. Thus the geese never officially made it to our table). We would also occasionally purchase a side of beef, and we frequently ate venison bagged from the hunting season of the previous November.
My mother would not serve the meat as simple, basic meat. For reasons that befuddled me at the time, my mother was insistent upon adding onions to the meat. I hated onions…she knew I hated onions…yet she would constantly attempt to sneak the little white devils into the burgers, on top of the roasts, or wrapped around pork chops and there was never an onionless meatball to be found.
Meatballs and mashed potatoes were a common meal as a child, and though I liked the idea of the meal…it became tiresomely impossible to pick out every tiny onion piece out of each and every meatball on my plate. As everyone else was finishing up their supper…I was still removing the translucent flakes of doom from the first of my three meatballs.
She would say things like, “They are so small you will never notice them.”
Right!...and so wrong!
They were so small…yet noticeable…and extremely difficult to extract. Why didn’t she keep them bigger…thus making my life easier? I cannot begin to imagine how many hours I could have spent helping with the dishes had I not been so busy removing onions.
Today is different. Whether it is because I tired of eradicating the onions from my meatballs or because I actually acquired a taste for the little white vegetable, I now enjoy onions…and I am quite fond of them in my meatballs.
I cannot help but observe a metaphor of unity in the meatball and onion. Once my mother had put all of the ingredients of the meatball together…the burger, the onions, the eggs, the oatmeal, etc…there was no chance of truly separating the elements. In fact, in attempting to do the impossible…damage is actually caused to the meatball.
In John 17:20-26, Jesus prays for all of the people who WILL believe in him…in the future. He prays that these believers will have “unity.” Unity is more than just getting along…it is being bonded together…to form a greater good…like a meatball. Jesus says that this unity will actually reflect the Glory of God. It makes me want to be a part of that unity…how about you?