Faith Reflections

Road Runner: Thoughts on Bourdain

Last night, I saw the film, “Road Runner: A Film about Anthony Bourdain”. I was a big fan of Bourdain’s show, Parts Unknown, and enjoyed his best-selling book, “Kitchen Confidential.” Anthony invited the world to the table, believing you learn a lot about each other when you share a meal. I savored the conversation, community, and discomfort Bourdain cooked up for us each episode.

Bourdain was a complex guy. He was loved, and he was hated. He was compassionate, and he was rude. He lived larged and yearned to be small. He craved the good, and he sought the bad. Anthony suffered with depression and an addictive personality. A lot of people loved him, yet he struggled to believe it. He lived incredible adventures, yet didn’t believe he deserved it.

I left the film with a heavy heart. I’ve known and know several dear people like Anthony and was reminded of this quote:

“All my life, my heart has sought a thing I cannot name.”

Andre Breton, French Poet

A life always searching, never content, is both exhilarating and exhausting – a never-ending rollercoaster. Highs are high; lows are low, with a few moments of leveling out between. And those level moments feel so uncomfortable and so foreign to those who live on the ride that they can’t stay there long.

There are no easy answers for these courageous folks. Even those ambushed by the love and grace of Jesus, those who can somehow find a way past the many ills of religion, struggle to get off the ride. What I’ve noticed is now they don’t always feel like they ride alone, and I imagine that must feel like a glimmer of hope. But I can’t really know. Their story is not mine

Today, I give thanks for the life of Anthony and for the table he invited us to as we shared meals together around the world. May we continue to make room at the table, and may we extend grace to those on the ride.

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