I have my annual physical appointment in an hour or so*, which means I have had the pleasantness (ha) of fasting since 11:30 p.m. last night when I went to bed. Note: I am not a typical fast-er, not even for spiritual reasons. I love food and I have never been willing to give it up of my own accord. But today, I have (kind of) enjoyed the sense of being empty and awaiting my first meal of the day, which will come around 3:15. And I'm going to celebrate and treat it with joy. (I've already decided... Dean and DeLuca chicken salad sandwich. Messy and falling-out-of-bread but YUM.) Not eating has made me more able to focus on work, though that may sound funny because hunger can be pretty distracting. But it was nice knowing that I had not "forgotten" to eat when I left the house, and I haven't had lunch time to split the day up, so the fact that it's 1:22 is surprising and satisfying, and came pretty quick. I've been listening to my Pandora Christmas station (it started out as an Emmylou Harris holiday station but with my thumbs upping and such it's become primarily British choirs singing carols, with some bluegrass thrown in) and working on the bulletins for the Second Sunday of Advent, humming through hunger pangs. Waiting. What am I waiting for, really?
This involuntary fast has also made me think about those who feel this way - hungry, hungry, HUNGRY - every single day, those who lack the means to alter their stomachs' emptiness. I feel achingly aware of each growl and burn and I feel humbled and opened, knowing that a brief stint of no food for a doctor's appointment (which is also unavailable to too many) is beyond miniscule compared to the normalcy of hunger in millions of people's lives.
What are we all waiting for, really?
Lord, help me to cling to my hunger for you, to await fullness. Help those who are always clinging, and bless them until they are full to bursting with joy.
*written earlier today
Here's Advent 1.3.