When You Can’t Taste

It’s been a strange couple of weeks. Although fully vaccinated, I tested positive for COVID and have been isolated from this, that, and the other. No Starbucks stool to sit on to craft my Words From W.W., no teaching gigs, no in-person church.

But the most intriguing aspect of the experience has been my lost of taste and smell. I can’t smell the roses and I can’t taste potato chips. I’ve stopped putting sugar in my morning coffee, because..what’s the point! I’ve minimized the dressing on my salad, because…what’s the point! I’ve taken to drinking more water and less soda, because…you guessed it…what’s the point! I’ve lost six pounds on my trail to blandness, and I’m looking at any can of food in our cupboard that I despise and considering its consummation because I won’t be able to taste it.

I hadn’t considered how my sense of taste has been so ingrained into my life experience. It’s just always been! Carol and I had hamburgers the other night because I had a hankering for one and…nothing. I popped popcorn and put so much salt on it you’d think I had stock in Morton and…nothing.

Taste draws us into the sweetness of life and the salt that hints of a seasoned existence. One doesn’t appreciate its value until it’s not there. The Food Channel loses its meaning. The mailings from Omaha Steak are inviting to the eyes, but then the reality of what is sets back in.

There’s a verse in the Bible that says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him” (Psalm 34:8).

The loss of my taste buds has brought me to a new appreciation of my taste for the Lord. On the way to dullness I’ve encountered scriptural stories such as the lame beggar laying by the Gate called Beautiful who is looking at Peter and John for a coin and the two apostles tell him that they don’t have silver or gold, but in the name of Jesus get up and walk. It was a redirection, a new beginning, that led him to a new way of looking at life, from a standing position.

This loss of taste has led me to a new longing to taste that the Lord is good and the realization that I have an appetite for a lot of things that are pseudo-tasty, the sweetness of what the world has told me is what I need. My loss of taste has made me realize the deceptions of my wantings and the urgency of my needs.

Oh, don’t kid yourself! I still have a longing for a PayDay candy bar, but then I think to myself…yes, one more time…what’s the point!

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