My grandmother Christine was a wonderful woman. There was never a moment that I didn't feel her love. She made plain pancakes that filled an entire dinner plate, and cut them into tiny squares and drenched them in butter. She kept a box of ice cream cones on top of the freezer and pulled out the cherry vanilla ice cream when my sister and I spent the night. I didn't even like cherry ice cream, except when I was with her. When I learned to drive she told me she wasn't scared to ride with me. I knew she was telling the truth because she didn't push her foot through an imaginary brake every time we crossed an intersection.
Last night, my friend Hannah asked me, "Why The Coming Appetite? Why did you name it that?"
Grammie Christine coined the phrase. At least, she's the only one I've ever heard say it. A coming appetite is a noun. It is when you think you aren't hungry, until a plate of food is placed before you and, to your surprise, you eat the whole thing. It's a hunger you didn't know you had. Grammie would often defend her empty plate - shortly after claiming she didn't want anything to eat - by saying, "I guess I had a coming appetite."
I named this site The Coming Appetite to honor her, because I admired her cooking and I loved the way she made me feel. I named it that because it made me remember her, and I hoped others would remember her too. But my conversation with Hannah last night got me thinking. It made me wonder if there is something more to the phrase that Grammie used, and to the notion that we hunger without knowing it.
I mean, it happens to me all the time. A coming appetite. I don't know that I'm hungry for something, until I get a taste. I don't know I'm hungry for rest, until I spend time sitting alone on the porch and then feel refreshed. I don't know I'm hungry for connection, until a girl friend makes me laugh so hard I have to cross my legs. I don't know I'm hungry for Jesus, until I realize that my soul and my every moment is full only when I have dined on His love. And then - it's then that I realize I am positively starving.
Grammie Christine - she never left a full plate in front of her. She tasted it, just to see if maybe she was hungry after all. I think we all have full plates before us, too. Plates of peace and mercy, hot and fragrant. Plates of grace and forgiveness, so sweet on our souls. Maybe it's time that we take a bite - if only a nibble at first - to see if we too have coming appetites. And if so, let's eat until we are completely, utterly, and perfectly stuffed.