I hate mayo. People try to tell me I really just dislike it, but that’s not true. There are foods I dislike, but I will eat them. Mayonnaise is something I avoid at just about any cost, to the point that I will eat only a salad (bunny food!) with no dressing if that’s what it takes to avoid mayo.
As Beth and I were preparing to go to MTI for training, they sent us a very detailed questionnaire. It covered everything from age and education to the country we are heading to (Brazil) and target language (Portuguese). In addition to all of that, it had a section on food allergies. That section stated that they would work around severe allergies, but not food preferences. I went ahead and put down that I didn’t like mayo, and even mentioned my name for it: the Devil’s Condiment.
My game plan from the beginning was that I would just skip anything with mayo, and if that meant eating a salad and a Clif Bar, then that’s what I would do. Our first lunch here was to be chicken bacon ranch sandwiches, which is close enough to mayo that I planned to skip out. Imagine my surprise when I was told they were having people add ranch to their sandwiches so that mine would be ranch and mayo free! They even commented they knew I didn’t like the Devil’s Condiment (their words), and they would help me out. At lunch today, they had a panini set aside just for me that was mayo free, and they grabbed it for me as soon as I showed up in line.
This is not what I expected for missionary training! I’m used to people giving me a hard time about my anti-mayo stance (aioli is just as bad, by the way), and I halfway expected them to feature mayo at every meal to make me learn to like it. I have been shocked at how much their working with me has touched me. The past two days of class have been exhausting and stressful.
We are learning a great deal about linguistics (a field I know nothing about), and are being drilled constantly on techniques and sounds. It’s harder than I had expected, and stressful as well. The staff taking the time to make one sandwich different from all the others just so that I don’t have to eat mayonnaise has had a larger impact on me than they can imagine. But that’s something God does for us.
God knows our likes and dislikes. Sometimes he makes us confront a bias or a dislike because it isn’t in keeping with His Word. Other times, He is able to take something we deeply dislike and use it to show us grace and love. I never expected mayo to make me feel loved, but it certainly has today!