Saturday, June 2, 2012

Dry Bones: Blueberry Pie Filling

I'm serving a church right now, that's about to suck me dry.  I mean really, bone chillingly, joint achingly, dry.

There's a saying, that travels around pretty frequently with us church-y types, that laughingly says: "The church would be perfect, if it weren't for the people."

Up until these past few months... such a statement always made me sort-a sad, in that "what a shame that some poor soul came up with that sentence, no doubt, as a result of their circumstances" sort of way.  But now I get it.

The people...
...are tiresome.
...and angry.
...and hateful.
...and passive aggressive.
...and manipulative.
...and sick.
...and needy.
...and whiny.
...and they don't wear white until after Memorial Day.  (Which means, by the way, that I was not to be trusted for the first two my white pants and all, on *gasp* May 3rd.)

And I drag my dry bones home...waiting for the next ball to drop...knowing that THIS is why clergy have a disproportionately high percentage of heart attacks. 

Then I sink into my lounge chair, eating several servings of ice cream...okay, so maybe THIS is why clergy have a disproportionately high percentage of heart satiate my aching soul and I wonder why I can go months without serving the church -- longing, gut wrenching months -- but when I get the chance, when I get the call... hurts.

And then I remind myself that...

the people...
...are human.

And these humans, especially in this particular church... have the decked stacked against them.

Yet despite that stacked deck and their distaste for white capris even when the thermometer reads 91*...God's Spirit emerges...albeit, sometimes, begrudgingly or hesitantly or slowly... and you find...

Though some are tiresome... there are those who will lift them up.
Though some are angry... there are those with a good word.
Though some are hateful... there are those who offer forgiveness.
Though some are passive aggressive... there are those who will call them on it.
Though some are manipulative... there are those who are not.
Though some are sick... there are those who will visit them.
Though some are needy... there are those who will provide.
Though some are whiny... there are those who will sing.

And I suppose, if I were to be honest, it would be just as appropriate to say, "the church would be perfect, if it weren't for the clergy."

...who is so very human.  Bones and all.

I trust this moment of humanness will pass for this church... and it will not be so hard, so lonesome, so aching.  But I also trust that the humanness will remain for this church... and a world will be reminded that even dry bones can dance.

And when that day comes, I will need something besides all that ice cream I'm eating... so, I made Blueberry Pie Filling.

What you'll need:

10 Cups blueberries, washed
½ Cup water
1 ½ Cups sugar
6 Tablespoons cornstarch
5 Tablespoons bottled lemon juice
2 Quart sized canning jars

Wash the blueberries and set aside. Sterilize 2, one quart jars along with the lids in boiling water or in a dishwasher run without soap.

In a large stockpot bring the water, sugar, corn starch and lemon juice to a boil.  Pour in the blueberries and bring the mixture back to a boil, stirring continuously for about 5 minutes while the berries release their juices and the mixture thickens, becoming blue and glossy.

Set a funnel over a quart jar and ladle in the blueberry mixture, leaving a 1″ headspace. Repeat with second quart jar. Place the sterilized lids on the jar and seal them with the rims, only tightening the ring as much as you can with two fingers.

Place the jars in a pot of boiling water standing upright. Make sure the water covers the tops of the jars. Boil for 30 minutes, starting the timer when the water has returned to a boil.

Remove jars and place in a cool, dry place on a kitchen towel. Allow to cool overnight. Store jars for the long term in a cool, dry place until using.


I had fully planned to store and save this pie filling...for that rainy day or for when bones were once again alive...but unfortunately, the lids didn't seal and the jars overflowed.  So for now, they sit in my fridge...waiting.  Waiting for white pants and soothed souls...