When I wake in the morning
and all through the day, you are there
to comfort and lift me up.
Even at night, when emptiness threatens,
you fill me with yourself.
At my mother’s breast
and now that I am old,
you have been my friend my whole life long.

You may resonate with these words and say how good God is. But what if I told you that I wasn’t referring to God? I was talking about food.

I don’t recall what upset me that day, but I do remember the relief and comfort I felt when I bit into the saltine cracker. I must have been three or four years old because I needed a  step stool to get onto the kitchen counter and into the cupboard where the crackers were kept.

I have never in my sixty-three years of life known a significant period of time when I was free from the compulsion to eat.

Until now.

For the past three weeks, I’ve stopped snacking. My meals are high in fibre, plant-based and rich in Omega 3s. Sugar and junk food are out. I’m learning to “love the foods that love me back,” as John Robbins, author of Diet for a New America says.

I’ve also been consistently practicing centering prayer and yoga and going for walks or bike rides daily. I go to bed at ten pm and get up at six. I’ve never been able to do that before.

How did God bring me to the freedom that I’ve longed for my whole life? (I certainly didn’t get here on my own.)

There was a convergence.

Doing the Radical Compassion Challenge in January opened me to have compassion for the earth and future generations. This led to eating a plant-based diet for Lent.

Fear of throat cancer from acid reflux and heart disease from high cholesterol woke me up.

Listening to the Food Revolution Summit and Justin Michael Williams and the sudden death of a dear friend who was younger than me helped me stay woke.

The Universal Christ by Richard Rohr enabled me to face the death of food as my god and be resurrected into a new life in which I actually like spinach, blueberry, banana, and chia seed smoothies. I don’t enjoy them the way I do crackers or pizza, but I like how they satisfy me and restore my body.

Meanwhile, consuming whole foods was healing the pre-frontal cortex of my brain and giving me more impulse control. Without sugar and junk food in my diet, I began to enjoy the flavours of the wholesome foods I put in my mouth.

Covid-19 has allowed me the protected spaciousness to eat what nurtures my body without being tempted by what others are eating or having to be concerned about how my food choices affect them. Food is a touchy subject, way more controversial than sexual orientation or views about hell. It helps that right now the only one I eat with is Fred, and he supports me.

I feel great, and the day that I will no longer be obese is approaching.

God’s insatiable desire to set us free knows no limits. God is setting me free from past hurts, self-judgment, false beliefs, and crippling fears. God is also freeing me from compulsive behaviours that rob me of life.

I know that grace got me here and only grace can keep me here. I won’t maintain my resolve if I don’t stay woke, and I can’t stay woke without God’s help.

But today I can trust that the One who has been faithful will continue to give me the grace I need. Today is the only day I have.

There was an earthquake, and rocks were split in pieces.
What’s more, tombs were opened up, and many bodies of believers asleep in their graves were raised.
–Matthew 27:52-53 (Message)

Lord, You have always given
bread for the coming day;
and though I am poor,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always given
strength for the coming day;
and though I am weak,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always given
peace for the coming day;
and though of anxious heart,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always kept
me safe in trials;
and now, tried as I am,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always marked
the road for the coming day;
and though it may be hidden,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always lightened
this darkness of mine;
and though the night is here,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always spoken
when time was ripe;
and though you be silent now,
today I believe.

–Evening Prayer
from the Northumbria Community’s 
Celtic Daily Prayer

∗ ∗ ∗

Love Mischief for the World

Don’t dig up those dandelions or cut your lawn so often. Let the dandelions grow, and you’ll be helping bees survive. Here’s love mischief for the world that requires us to do less! You can read more about dandelions and bees here.

What love mischief are you and God doing for the world?
Let me know and I will include it in an upcoming post.

Credits and References:
“Sunrise” by Sachin Inamdar. Used with permission.
Empty tomb by pxfuel. Royalty-free.
Taken from Evening Prayer from the Northumbria Community’s Celtic Daily Prayer published by Collins. Used with permission.
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2020.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013-2020.

About Esther Hizsa

Esther is a spiritual director and writer. She lives in Burnaby with her husband, Fred, and they have two grown children and two grandchildren.
This entry was posted in Aging, Lent, Mindfulness, Overeating, Reflections and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Convergence

  1. Karen Parent says:

    Wow. Powerful and beautiful filling & renewal of your mind your heart your soul….your beloved body! Grateful for your emergence at 63, newborn! Supported and led by your sharing 💙 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

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