I participated in the worldwide fast that involved a variety of organizations to raise awareness about the global food crisis. I made it – three days without food (I did sneak a little juice in there) – with the support from others and especially from my compañero in life, Omar.
As a group gathered at Central Presbyterian Church in Louisville, KY to share in communion and a simple meal to break the fast, reflections came. We read John 6:25-35, which in the last verse Jesus says to a multitude, "I am the bread of life; they who come to me shall not hunger, and they who believe in me shall never thirst." As the smells of yummy dishes spread through the room and silence fell upon the group, I was struck by the image of the communion bread and cup. A clear symbol of how Jesus cares for our hunger and thirst, and as an extension sharing a meal should be a sacred act. How come it doesn’t often feel like that? Sure feeding myself is instinctive, getting food into my mouth to fuel my body. But am I not also a spiritual creature? There are times when I eat as fast as I can never stopping to reflect on the blessings and gifts God offers me in having enough to eat. Seeing the bread, watching it being broken after not sharing in it for several days, created a stark contrast to what I usually imagine when taking communion. This time communion meant life, literally.
So how does this experience call me to action around the global food crisis? I don’t yet know the answer, but I do know that I’m much more aware of my own hunger for a spiritual connectedness to God, to others, to creation. Slowing down, thinking about what I eat or don’t eat, and sharing a delicious meal with others allowed me the privilege to think more intentionally about my role in the crisis and how as part of a community of believers I must be accountable to those who suffer because of that role. I know this is just the start of long journey.