"Wow, just reading your 'leaving bread crumbs' blog..absolutely love it, didn't know you were a Christian :)" reads the direct Twitter message from Matt of Mattatouille at 10:36 AM this morning.
I smile, momentarily flattered. Nobody (aside from my mother) reads my blog about my experiences as a Christian woman living in LA.
Of course, I don't blame them. I haven't posted anything new on the site in three months (been too busy eating, cooking and photographing food), and the entries don't exactly lend themselves to enticing pictures. Unless a meadow or field or ray of light is enticing.
I respond back to Matt, excited to learn that he too is "gaga" for God, and we proceed to "Tweet" back and forth about that, as well as my controversial review for Ludobites. He encourages me to try the restaurant again - insisting that Ludo and Kristine really are remarkable people, and I agree that I'd like to return to see if I might have a different reaction to some of the dishes.
For a brief blissful moment, I feel the best I have in 24 hours. I'll go back. I'll have another (ideally more positive) "story" to tell about Ludobites, and everything will be fine. Hunky-dory in Twitterland and the LA food blogosphere. Kumbaya and all that jazz.
But then, right in the middle of my productive efforts to update an Excel spreadsheet, that darn voice in the back of my head starts peskering me again.
"Something's not right here." It says.
I scratch my head and say, "Head, what you talkin' bout? People are now aware that I have always known that steak tartare is raw meat, I think they know I wasn't actually drunk, AND I got an 'Amen!' on my 'I'm Not Sally Field' post! Everything is fine!"
The voice ignores my weak defense. "Something's not right." It repeats.
I try to push it aside to focus on my work. But then another e-mail pops up in my inbox from Matt. His words from this morning flash in front of me again... "I didn't know you were a Christian."
And suddenly everything is clear. I know what to do.
I am removing my Ludobites post again -- for good this time. Not because I have suddenly had this grand epiphany about Chef Ludo's vision (that's still to come if Ludo and Kristine will be gracious enough to allow me to experience Ludobites again), but because it's what the folks back home call "the right thing to do."
I want to be honest with my readers about my experiences, but at the end of this day and the next day and every day that follows thereafter, I report to a higher authority -- God. Despite how it might appear on this blog, I'm not on this earth just to eat and write and make a mess of things. I'm here to serve Him and to show His love to everyone on this crazy planet through my hopefully honorable actions -- even to that jerk in the Prius who cuts me off on the 10 FWY.
Chef Ludo and Kristine are not bad people, and they are most certainly not bullies. They are good people who, just like me, are struggling to make a living and struggling to make their dreams come true. Would I like it if someone blasted my Excel spreadsheets for being lackluster? No. I'd probably have a few choice words to tell that person. Hopefully not four letter words (Jesus don't like the swearin'), but sometimes they do slip out. Especially when I'm driving. And hungry.
The point is that my post hurt Chef Ludo and Kristine, and as a Christian, I can't justify that -- especially considering the superb service that our party received from them on Thursday night. I may not be able to say I loved all the food I put in my picky little mouth that night, but I can say that they were incredibly gracious hosts, and as such, deserve my respect. They deserve to be treated with that Golden Rule that's all the buzz in churches across America. "Treat others like you want to be treated."
I realize a lot of damage has already been done, but I'll be saying an extra prayer tonight for them. And maybe a little one for me too. That next time I feel the urge to post a negative review I'll spend a little more time considering the effect my words might have on those who read them.
(Insert rainbow image here. Smiling children holding hands, optional.)