Lenten Reflections: Food for Thought
Fresh vegetables for sale at a local market in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. (Racine Tucker-Hamilton)
Tuesday, Feb. 19
By Inez Torres Davis
I just finished writing a Lenten Bible Study for Bread for the World, and I'm thinking about what it means to live in a nation of plenty. And, well, I feel somewhat ashamed for planning an Easter with special foods. Food snobs take note!
I am obese. Obesity is a problem in our nation even as many, in the United States and around the world, suffer from hunger. The importance of different dietary elements in causing obesity remains controversial. While there are no substantial long-term studies to turn to, short-term investigations indicate that consumption of high-Glycemic Index (GI) carbohydrates may increase hunger and promote overeating relative to consumption of items with a lower GI.
Clearly, we do not live by bread alone! We live by all manner of dietary concoctions. So, I have to wonder—if I could, would I turn stones into bread as evidence that God is with me? If you could, would you? And, each time I bless food that, nutritionally, is not best for my obese self, am I daring stones to try and stub my toes because, after all, God is with me?
Belonging to God and living in the world is a conflict waiting to happen from the start. God is not surprised by the dilemma! But, how often do we pretend we have not succumbed to the desires of our nature while at the same time judging the politician or another neighbor for failing to acknowledge the way of the gospel in the decisions they make?
There are no answers in this blog. Just some reflections since reflecting is one of those things we are asked to do in Lent. Consider it food for thought!
Ines Torres Davis is director for justice at Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
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