God and Green Chile

September 3, 2013

Talitha Arnold

"Give us this day our daily bread." From Matthew 6:5-13

What makes for a good life?

For 103-year-old Dulcinea Serrano, it was God and green chile.

A native of northern New Mexico, Dulcinea was the mother of 10, and a housekeeper and seamstress at a Santa Fe hotel for many years. She and her husband Eduardo, a sheepherder, moved from the village of Galina to Santa Fe in 1947 and built a house in the barrio. Made of adobe bricks, it had no roof because they couldn't afford one. One daughter recalled lying in bed and thinking, "I can see the stars."

Dulcinea passed away recently. Remembering her life, her granddaughter Lisa said, "I believe that God and green chile kept my grandmother alive for so long. My fondest memories of her are in the kitchen, talking about food and God."

God and green chile. Not a bad combination. Had he lived in northern New Mexico, I think Jesus would have agreed. Remember how he taught his followers to pray for their daily bread? How he took time to enjoy a meal with his friends?

Whether it's bread or green chile, a regular taste of God's blessing is a good thing. Dulcinea Serrano knew that. So did Jesus.

Daily bread. Daily green chile. A daily dose of God. That's what kept Dulcinea Serrano going. And Jesus. It can do the same for us.

Prayer

God of green chile and good bread, thank you for the everyday blessings of our lives. Give us the wisdom to enjoy them—every day. Amen.

About the Author
Talitha Arnold is Senior Minister of the United Church of Santa Fe (UCC), Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is the author of Worship for Vital Congregations, published by The Pilgrim Press.
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