“Shroom Devotions for Food Thoughts”

OK, this is going to be a strange Hump Day devotion but hang with me, it’s about edibles and you just may find your salivary glands savoring a “shrooming meal!” Here goes…

A lot of people look at mushrooms in the forest and wonder “are those edible? Are these crazy-looking fungi really a mushroom at all?” Here in northern New Mexico up in the high mountains there is a saying this time of year “there is a fungus among us!” 

It is SCHROOM time and folks are out picking these delicious edibles. Others, like me, are shutter-bugs and photographing these fungi as they are so interesting if not downright bizarre! I know only a few that are edible but sometimes other mushrooms look like the edible ones so I’m not picking any of them. With mushrooms, I’ll err on the caution side as I certainly do NOT want to mix up the wrong shroom – many are deadly, others are so toxic you’ll be spending time in the ER for sure. Mushrooms play with your neurological system and that’s dangerous.

We met two ladies who know their shrooms. (Yes, they’ve given mushrooms the nickname ‘shroom’ – rarely will you hear the full name.) In their Subaru wagon they have an intricate set of wooden trays in a cabinet. Each tray is lined with dark material—this is serious business for their culinary needs. After cutting away the parts you don’t eat, they separate the varieties, lightly water spray them and into the dark trays they go. The dark and the damp keeps them fresh until use.

They had counted over 200 when we met them at the side of the road. In fact, in our 5 days up by the Continental Divide (10,000 ft) we saw them many times. It’s obvious that these gals love them. They cook them in just about everything. I love them too, from the grocery store as I feel more comfortable in getting the right shroom. Slice and grill them with a steak or raw and cut into a salad, Swiss steak and shrooms—there are so many ways to love a fungus! How about you? Are you thinking I went daft in this topic for a devotion?

Let’s take God’s perspective on his creation, using The Voice translation from Genesis 1:29

God(speaking to humanity)
Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant that grows on the earth
and every fruit-bearing tree. They will be your food and nourishment.

When I see a mushroom I have to laugh at God’s creativity–in fact, the 5-picture show at the beginning of this devotion is there for me to prove my point. Leave it to God to give us excellent nutrition in a fungus-who’d a thought?!! And yet, in God’s own words we are told “this will be your food and nourishment.” This covers everything that God has created for our food needs, including shrooms and a lot of other stuff that we may not particularly like but others do. Think about it: God has created a smorgasbord for his children because God knows none of us are alike!

And take a step further, did you know a lot of animals eat mushrooms, including the toxic ones-for some reason they are not hurt by them? So God has concocted such a broad variety it’s hard to even grasp the immensity of how much let alone the utter creativity of creating all this stuff for us.

Jehovah-Jireh…God is my Provider. That is what comes to my mind on this topic. We think we may have instituted the ‘pot-luck’ supper but God was way ahead of us in doing that. Stop a moment and think of your 5 most favorite foods, savor the thought of each one (but please finish this devotion before you head out to the grocery store!). As you savor, think also of how this came to your table, the hands that planted what was originally spoken into being. What did it take for you to enjoy this food, are you thankful for God’s provision and the “human-assembly-line” that allowed you to buy and eat it?

As I took each shroom picture I had to stop in amazement, sometimes laughing at the bizarre shapes of these food-gifts from heaven. I looked around to see a squirrel with a mouthful of one large white shroom, and that’s when it hit me—I am always cared for… ALL creation is ALWAYS cared for by our Creator God.

So why do I worry? Why do I get anxious thinking I don’t have enough or when the food I like is not available on the grocery shelf? Honestly, looking at the toadstool mushrooms I laughed and thought of a bunch of gnomes in their homes and they are not worrying about where to live or what to eat. Sounds silly, but it made me think that I need to live much more faithfully with gratitude. How about you?

Next time you go to a grocery store or produce market, stop and imagine all that God has created for you to eat. Think of those who go without food even though it is plenty in the world…but some folks have no way to access this bounty. What can you do?

  • First practice gratitude to God and all those who made the human chain to get this from field-to-table.
  • Second-give and/or work with those agencies who are helping to stamp out hunger.
  • Third-don’t waste your food. Think of each bite and how important God created it for your body to live strong and well.

Chew slowly and savor each bite considering it a drop of heavenly nectar … O come Lord Jesus, be our Guest, and let these gifts to us be blessed-AMEN!