A Place at the Table: Day 18

Sunday – Feast day!  It’s such a freeing, positive feeling to walk into the kitchen on Sunday mornings, put the coffee on to brew, and then think about all the wonderful things I can eat. For breakfast, I left the bananas aside and had peanut butter and jelly. Such a simple thing – but boy was it good. Part of me thought I was silly for sticking with peanut butter, when I’ll be eating that for the rest of the week (most likely), but it’s what I wanted.

For lunch at church, the potluck featured two different types of Indian curry, fresh fruit, pizza, and some of the biggest cupcakes I’ve ever seen.  Scrumptious.  Dinner was pakcakes, sausage, and cooked apples.  Delightful.  In between, I sipped a large mug of afternoon coffee. Serene.

I ended the day thankful for all the good things there are to enjoy on our plates – and even more thankful that I am able to enjoy many of them.  “Fine dining” is out of my reach except on the most special of occasions; but this fast has taught me that very simple things can yield incredible (and healthy) dishes.  Thinking we have to pay $30+ for a “nice” meal isn’t just wrong, it’s downright sinful.  Yes, I think that’s right: it’s sinful.  Such an attitude has more to do with gorging our egos than nourishing our bodies, especially in a country where there are people starving in the midst of abundance.

Lord, thank you for the joys of today’s feast. Continue to show me how to enjoy the good gifts of the table without making an idol out of that which I eat.   Amen.

A Place at the Table: Day 17

Saturday – I brought my bread and peanut butter home from church last night following our monthly “Friday Fun Night.”  I used my last banana for the week to make a PB&B for breakfast. This bread has really gone far, and so has the peanut butter.  I may be able to get another couple of days worth out of both, depending on how many sandwiches I eat per day. For lunch, I had curried chickpeas and green beans with one carefully measured cup of rice. My experience with lunch yesterday reminded me that I need to be careful not to treat my glorious bag of rice as if it were bottomless.  If I eat everything I make the day I make it, it will be gone in a hurry.  I even held back some of the stir fry for later.  The chickpeas have stretched perhaps further than anything.  I’m still eating off of the original batch I made on Tuesday!  The green beans are now gone.

This Saturday was easier than the last couple of Saturdays have been.  For one thing, I had more food at my disposal.  Second, I made sure to eat breakfast and then eat my lunch right after I made the girls theirs.  That way I headed off any hunger that fixing their food might awaken in me.  I also stayed engaged in other things that had nothing to do with food.  My wife was volunteering at an all-day event her Mothers of Multiples group was holding, so I took the girls with me to the bank and to the post office in the morning; then we refilled the birdfeeder and made a fire in the fireplace in the afternoon.  I worked on my sermon while they played.  When dinner time rolled around, I was hungry but not unusually so.

My daughter Emma fell asleep on the floor curled up in front of the fire, which was a beautiful sight.  However, it meant that I would either have to wake her up prematurely or put off going to the store.  Tomorrow is a feast day so I decided to let her sleep.  When a four-year-old puts herself down for a nap, she needs it!  Shortly after I made this decision, I realized there was great privilege in having a choice to make in this situation.  If I were poor and this wasn’t a fast and there was no feast to look forward to tomorrow, I would have had to wake her up because not doing so would mean there wouldn’t be any food tomorrow.  What sadness there would be in having to make that decision.

Lord, thank you for showing me that privilege is a much wider and deeper thing than I often think.  Amen.

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