Franny and Zooey Obsession Part 2: Seeing God in Chicken Soup

Franny and Zooey are the most sophisticated pilgrims I have ever had the chance to stumble upon. And the job of these pilgrims, of all of us, is the journey. The seeking, the wanting, the longing.  

There are journeys away from love and journeys towards love. Chasing and running. Hiding and seeking. 

But what if what we’re looking for has been here all along? What if the real journey is to discover that the divine is all around us and within us and before us and behind us and never ever apart from us?

Franny and Zooey embark on a journey that leads them to discover that what they’ve been searching and scratching and scrambling toward has been there all along. 

Zooey says to Franny,

“If it’s the religious life you want, you ought to know right now that you’re missing out on every single…religious action that’s going on around this house. You don’t even have sense enough to drink when somebody brings you a cup of consecrated chicken soup–which is the only kind of chicken soup Bessie ever brings to anybody around this madhouse. So just tell me, just tell me, buddy. Even if you went out and searched the whole world for a master–some guru, some holy man–to tell you how to say your Jesus Prayer properly, what good would it do you? 

How in hell are you going to recognize a legitimate holy man when you see one if you don’t even know a cup of consecrated chicken soup when it’s right in front of your nose?” 

Zooey’s right. If we can’t hear God in the whisper, how can we hear Him in the storm? If we can’t see God in the minutely beautiful, in the mundane acts of love and life and service and hope, how will we see Him in holy temples and mission trips? How will we ever reach a state of praying without ceasing when we can’t even partake in communion clothed in chicken soup?

We are in such constant need of reminding that every breath is proof that there is magic and every bowl of chicken soup is consecrated.

The job of the pilgrim is the journey to discover the Christ, the wonder, already among us.


7 thoughts on “Franny and Zooey Obsession Part 2: Seeing God in Chicken Soup

  1. Good post. You are so right. If we wait to be tossed on our head every time as a trial to hear God isn't that the antithesis of faith? The Walk is about getting close to Him so He can whisper.

  2. nowhereman says:

    ..but what if you do not know how to find him? How will you know where to walk? Surely one cannot be expected to blindly step into an anonymous direction solely based on the encouraging word of your fellow man. If God really wanted to be heard, I am sure that it would not be a difficult task for him/it to accomplish.

  3. Aly Lewis says:

    Thanks, Ken! It can take quite the concerted effort to hear His whisper in this noisy world (not mention our noisy brains). Nowhereman–I can totally relate to the frustrations of the HOWs of finding God. I think God speaks and reveals Himself to everyone differently. I really believe that God found me, not the other way around. But now that I've had glimpses of where He's leading, there are practices/disciplines I can keep to be reminded that God is indeed in every moment, mundane and miraculous.

  4. Nicely done Nowhereman. I am picky about whose advice I take, be it religious or otherwise. I would go to where God speaks. Historically that would be the bible. I have heard that if you seek Him He will fill that gap and find you. I can't say it would be lightening burning a text message in the grass but He leads me in ways that I understand. That means simple.

  5. Personally, this hits me in a special spot, especially with one of your last lines: "We are in such constant need of reminding that every breath is proof that there is magic and every bowl of chicken soup is consecrated."Breathing is something that isn't easy for me, so anytime I'm able to breathe without struggling is exciting. I don't always remember to praise God for it, though, because it's so easy to take for granted. =/Amazing stuff. Keep up the great writing!

  6. Aly Lewis says:

    Thanks for the encouragement, Adrian. And the reminder to all of us who take breathing–labored or otherwise–for granted.

  7. Mich9 says:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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