I devoured "7" (It's a book by Jen Hatmaker). Lapped up every word. But it’s often like that when I read a book exactly suited to a season in my life – God speaking to me through the words of another. Plus I can’t remember the last time I laughed and cried, hard, in just one chapter and the first one at that.
Perhaps this chapter hit hardest because I’ve fasted from food before for the wrong reasons. I thought I needed to “punish” myself for my apathy to others’ real hunger instead of understanding what it really means to repent and accept God’s grace. I feared entering a food fast for the wrong reasons ever since, convinced God would not ask me to enter an area filled with doubt, confusion and pain. A valley of shadow.
So the questions Jen outlined on page 25 were ones I didn’t want to face, especially the second one. I shook after reading them, waves of anxiety washing over me...
“What causes an unhealthy change of attitude, personality, or focus when “it” becomes threatened?”
Especially if I don’t have access to vegan, organic, pure foods (i.e. free of unpronounceable chemicals, oils, volumes of sugar, etc.). Though I don’t throw a visible tantrum, I throw a mental one.
Read Days 21 and 26 and you’ll understand why I become angry at what the food industry is doing to our “food” and the land, and most importantly, people. In a way, I’ve already chosen to fast from the indulgences of the modern food world. Which is why question two sent me into a bit of a mental tailspin.
I began to ask God if He wants me to give up my grip on eating healthy foods and if this whole healthy eating thing is an idol to be cast down. But I argue back how unhealthy eating them would be and remind Him of the digestive issues which follow show that something just isn’t kosher.
Sigh. So very confusing.
Reading Jen’s reference to Isaiah 58 in Month 2, Days 12-13 and Day 25 of Month Six helped (applicable for each month). A reminder of His heart for others and for us. And perhaps the point isn’t so much what or how I fast, but what He wants to teach me through it.
Because I want to develop a heart of compassion for others and not one that just cries over injustice and leaves it at that. But a heart that is moved to do something for the least of these. To use the information and food fuel He graciously, undeservedly bestows upon me for His good purposes. To change the reality of cheap fodder tossed to the poor into a reality of equal access to rich nourishment.