Thursday – Mid-afternoon I got hungry. It was nothing like what happened Wednesday evening, but I was hungry enough that, if I wasn’t fasting, I’d have found something to eat. Instead of having to fight it, though, I pushed through it without a second thought. It was really neat. My mind registered that I was hungry, made note of it, and moved on without protest or fanfare. It was sort of like fasting “muscle memory” kicking in.
Friday – Today I got sick (some sort of flu-like thing). I spent about half the day in bed. The thought crossed my mind that this thing (whatever it was) was a good excuse to break my fast, if I wanted to. I decided to stick with it, however. It doesn’t take too much energy or stamina to make a pb&banana sandwich. I wished my stir-fry was already made when I forced myself into the kitchen to make it, but standing over the steaming skillet turned out to be good for the sinuses. I threw in some cayenne pepper and that really helped open things up – at least temporarily. The one liberty I took was a very small bowl of cereal I ate around 4:30/5:00pm – almost dinner time. The church preschool’s Easter program was at 6:00pm and it is customary for the pastor to participate. An extra motivation this year was that my daughters were in the program. I was trying to get myself pulled together enough to be there and I needed to take some medicine, for which I needed something on my stomach. So, I ate what amounted to three or four spoonfuls of rice Chex. As I chewed, it dawned on me that here was yet another example of how poverty interferes with something I take for granted. How many times in life have I grabbed a snack in order to take an aspirin or some other form of medicine because that’s what the directions say to do? I read it, eat it, take it, and then go – without giving it a second thought. But if you’re poor and have to wait until later in the day – or even until the next day – to eat, what do you do? Do you skip the medicine you need? Or do you chance upsetting your stomach (or even risk ulcers)?
Lord, thank you for once again giving me a peek into the darkness in which others live. Shine your light in that darkness. Amen.