A Lovable Feast (or what I learned at #Allume)

This morning, ProBlogger Darren Rowse shared a story that captivated my imagination. Which is to say, a story about chocolate.

Chocolate cake. Mudcake.

More specifically, being ONE with mudcake.

The dude was speaking my love language.

He went on to share how, with the proper use of a fork, he nibbled at a delicious mudcake he’d bought in a cafe. He was enjoying himself until he noticed a little girl seated in front of him–about to eat the same mudcake. The big difference? The child feasted on the mudcake. She plunged in with both hands and reveled in it.

Something about this story sank deep into me today. How often I’ve avoided truly feasting on my life because I’m so caught up with the proper use of knife and fork. How often I ignore the heart of the message because I’m distracted by the messenger. How often I neglect reaching across the aisle and befriending someone different from me because That’s Just Not Done.

Yesterday, in my session, I spoke about courage and freedom. I spoke about making mistakes, leaning into pain in order to find the lesson of truth hiding behind the suffering.

And then I openly shared about how I found the love of God in the Catholic Church. To my great surprise, most of the questions following my session were all about Catholicism.

Here’s what I’m sensing: Christians are living a Great Divorce. Our parents–Protestant & Catholic–divorced hundreds of years ago and we, their children, have been picking up the broken pieces.

It’s time, I think, to remember what we already are: we are ONE in Christ.

As Thomas Merton once wrote:

“My dear Brothers, we are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to discover is our original unity. What we have to be is what we are.”

–Thomas Merton, Seeds, pg. 65

This year, the Allume conference, was about becoming one. As long as we are trapped in comparisons, judgments, proof-texting, arguments–we cannot BE what we already are: community.

Insofar as we are only nibbling at community with a proper fork and knife, we deny ourselves the incomparable pleasure of feasting on it.

This weekend I’ve met evangelicals, Mennonites, Reformed, homeschoolers, Catholics, non-denominational Christians. And you know what I see?

I see Jesus.

I see Love.

And love conquers all. All of our divisions, all of our brokenness, all of our defenses, all of our walls. Love unites. Love heals.

It’s time for us to feast on this love.

Love never fails.

  • http://arleenspenceley.blogspot.com/ Arleen Spenceley

    PREACH! Love this. Sharing now.

  • KatR

    Very glad that it went well! Hope Hurricane Sandy doesn’t leave you stuck in New Jersey…..Maybe that can be it’s own blog series. “After Allume – Stuck in New Jersey”.

  • Anonymous


    I am slowly learning this, still. And I so much want to attend Allume next year.

  • Heather Kopp

    Beautiful message, Elizabeth! Thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/micropreemies JessieLeigh

    I love this. I literally SHOOK as I asked you the question about whether, as a Catholic, you had ever been marginalized as “less of a Christian” or “not a Christian.” It has been a heart-breaking road for me, personally. But to watch others break open and, together, to begin to tear those walls down… that was gorgeous. Thank you for sharing your story and your heart.

    • crazymom13

      That sounds like a powerful question to ask in a group of different Christians….I imagine some folks squirming in their seats at both the question and the answer.

  • Nancy

    Beautiful! People are so hungry for the kind of love only Christ can supply — glad you were able to tell them about it!

  • http://thechuppies.com/ Kara @ The Chuppies

    This was huge for my heart…
    “…anchored in the unchanging love of God”
    “Fear is a liar…love is a courageous truth teller” ~E.E.
    Thankful for your words this weekend and for the love I also sensed binding up.

  • herewegokids

    Love conquers all!!! *said in Scottish burr of Lady Cluck from Robin Hood. :) Love the Merton quote. You’re right on w/ the Great Divorce thing.

  • Judy Webb

    I am honored to be among your evangelical sisters :) Honestly, without you in the family who would keep me laughing hysterically during dinner time?

  • Margaret

    may we all feast on mudcake and love!

  • http://www.leighkramer.com/ HopefulLeigh

    Amen, friend. Amen. It was such a treat spending time with you this weekend. You are a joy to be around and I can’t wait until our paths cross again!

  • http://annieathome.com Annie | annieathome.com

    This is beautiful and good and true. Love it and so glad you were at Allume this year!

  • http://www.redandhoney.com/ Beth Ricci

    Love this. Loved your session. Loved chatting briefly with you after. Thanks for all of it. I love the idea of feasting on my life with abandon… it’s so hard to do amidst the mundane, but somehow it’s possible. Off to make a valiant effort for today…

  • http://www.thelittlewoman.net/ Jessica

    Oooh, I love that quote! It’s good to be reminded that we already are one– children of the same Father, saved by the same grace. The longer I live, the more I come to think that there is no one denomination that gets everything right. All of us have our strengths, but all of us also have weak spots. It’s like each of us comes to the table of faith with a piece of a puzzle– all of us are needed to complete the puzzle, and none of us hold the complete picture in our hands.

  • http://twitter.com/lifefordessert Logan Wolfram

    yes yes yes! I had such fun with you my friend! Let’s do it again….mkay?! :-)

  • Jessica

    Awesome! I so enjoyed your session, but even more the conversation and laughter while dining at the table right before Darren spoke. I am the person who believed at one time a person was either born Catholic or they weren’t. Thank you for sharing your heart.