The argument from eggs

Do we need more evidence of divine love and affection than the existence of the egg?

Most of you will be thinking, “yes Tim, stop being weird.” Which is unfortunately not in my gift. So, you’re right, we do need more ‘evidence’ than that—we need the incarnate Son to give himself over like a lamb to be slaughtered. We need the firstborn of creation, the Son of Adam, to walk out of the back of death.

Wonder starts in the gospel; you can’t start in the world and argue your way to the God who is love given for you. Instead, once our imaginations have been baptised by the gift of God coming to dwell with us, we look again at the world and see it differently. We see through new eyes.

Except so often we don’t, we continue to look at the world in as flat a way as our neighbours. Eggs are how chickens reproduce. We like to put them in fire and put them in our mouths. Even writing it is grim.

Turn your head sideways, friend, and realise there’s a third dimension to the world. Everything you see is shot through with the glory of God. The world is a temple, not a machine, and every hill is a vestment, every tree an altarpiece. We are the priests.

Except we’ve forgotten that.

“Wait,” I hear you silently crying as you frantically close the tab, “this is another one of those modernity is bad, grr, posts isn’t it?”

Yes, friends. And it’s about eggs. Grr.

Have you thought about the humble egg for very long? They are remarkable.

A natural emulsion and emulsifier, you take just the yoke and whip it with oil you add slowly and you have a rudimentary mayonnaise, completely different from the egg you started with. A natural foam, take the white and whip them to make something so utterly different in volume and texture as to appear to have replaced them with something else.

Make your mayonnaise—hopefully with some mustard and seasoning—and take the left over white, whip it with sugar and dry it to make meringues. That two such different things could come from the same single egg with minimal other ingredients is itself remarkable.

I don’t think we spend enough time thinking about it. Say you met a proverbial alien come to earth for the first time, and having established with confidence that you are not conversing with a demon, you describe eggs and their uses to him. You would get the same reaction Homer Simpson gave Lisa when she described a pig. A knowing nod followed by an eye roll “yes Tim, magical stones.”

The proverbial alien channelling Homer speaks truer than he knows. That’s as good a description of ‘magic’ as any. All of this before considering their use in pastries and cakes and a thousand other wonderful things. Large arrays of our ordinary cooking, and especially our baking, rest on the reactions that eggs have with other ingredients. They are catalytic for our cuisine.

Oh, and more wonderful, that’s where chickens come from.

Or you can add them whole to a whirling pan of water with some vinegar for a few minutes, pop them on a muffin with a sliver of salmon carefully smoked and cut them open for golden wonder. God has created a beautiful world for you.

Do you see it? Every single thing around you sings the praises of his name once you have eyes to see it. Creation resounds with his glory as though the sound made by the divine pronouncements of the world’s first week still vibrates every atom in a hidden chorus of praises that the cherubim harmonise with. Because that’s exactly what’s happening.

Can you hear it?

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

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