Garbage as food

The ultimate recycling technique consists of using your own kitchen vegetable waste to feed the soil in the garden where you grow more vegetables. Our family also adds the weeds that come out of that garden.

This week we enjoyed some sweet corn, although we didn’t grow it.

Corn husks are not the best thing for the compost bin, but they go there anyway. We wouldn’t think of eating them. If I were a better international cook, I would save them for tamales, although they STILL wouldn’t get eaten even after they were used to hold together all that delicious corn and beef goodness.

I’ve made corn husk dolls with them, I’ve seen beautiful wreaths made out of them, but I’ve never come across a recipe to make them edible.

So, in they go with the compost, although they are barely porous enough to break down as rapidly as other rejected vegetable scraps. When the compost is turned, you can count on a layer of slimy, fibrous mess where they landed.

As undesirable as corn husks are, maybe we need more of them.

No, not ACTUAL corn husks, but in a spiritual sense.

In the story of the Prodigal Son, it was only after wanting to eat compost material when the wayward son came to his senses. Many scholars believe these may have been carob husks, but suffice it to say they were pig food, not blueberry cheesecake!

We might call it hitting rock bottom. There is something even more frightening about watching our loved ones free-falling than lending a hand to help pick them back up.

A fear of falling, nightmares about falling, even memories of falling (all eerily in slow-motion) are common phobias. But we don’t hear as much about the “fear of hitting the ground” or such.

One reason why is the element of the unknown.

While in the act of falling, or in the case of the Prodigal Son, straying away from God and family, the end result isn’t known.

It would totally change the story if the ending had been along the lines of, “He fell among bad characters who killed him.” Or what if the son had taken his new “friends” home to rob his family of what they had left?

Well, that didn’t happen, because those husks happened first. The realization of how far he had fallen woke the son up.

“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants’” (Luke 15:17-19, NKJV).

The wayward son repented of his sin while there was still time. I wonder if he smiled at the sight of nasty old husks for the rest of his life, remembering his turning point?

The Lord is patient and loving, but he will not wait forever.

“Give glory to the Lord your God
Before He causes darkness,
And before your feet stumble
On the dark mountains,
And while you are looking for light,
He turns it into the shadow of death
And makes it dense darkness.
But if you will not hear it,
My soul will weep in secret for your pride;
My eyes will weep bitterly
And run down with tears
(Jeremiah 13:16, 17a).

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