Monday, March 12, 2012

Getting Fat on the Feast

I am.

Plain and simple.  I realize you may be getting tired of hearing me speak about the wisdom God is pouring into my heart right now.  It isn't much fun or very exciting.  It isn't exactly uplifting.  It is dirty and messy.  It is painful.  It is gritty.

But it is evoking a change.  A realization.  Discernment.  Which calls for repentance. 

I love how Jen Hatmaker stated it in "7": God may we be focused on the least, a people balancing the fasting and the feast.

I'm not doing that.

I spend most of my time doing prayer groups, Bible studies, going to programs, uploading more sermons, etc.  And there is a time and place for this type of feasting.  The feast of the redeemed.  I am easily overwhelmed by the goodness of God.  His mercies are new every morning.  He offers salvation which includes blessings, peace, healing, forgiveness and most importantly: hope.  This is the feast I partake in and am free to do so as a Believer in Christ.

But...there has to be a balance.  And to counterbalance all of this feasting, there must be a 'fast.'

The Bible mentions various forms of fasting.  Fasting from food.  Fasting from self-preservation.  God's idea of a fast:  justice, freedom, food for the hungry, clothes for the naked. ("7")

I have bought into the idea that I need more feasting and less fasting.  More, more, more.  (noticing a theme here) The feast is supposed to sustain the fast.  But I prefer to avoid the fast and continue to gorge myself on more Bible studies, programs, sermons, classes, distractions. 

It's time I curb my own appetite for the mission of Jesus.

Blake and Autum were playing outside this morning.  They were laughing and throwing mud at each other (at this point I wasn't laughing).  They were pointing at the trees and talking in the jibberish only they understand.  Then, Blake stops, tilts his head up to the sun, closes his eyes, takes a deep breath and just smiles.  He sits there for a moment, just soaking up the warmth.  As if recognizing his blessing of freedom.  Like he knew his life could have been so much different had God not chosen a family for him when he was formed in his mother's womb.  Our family.  For him. 

But no family for her.  Yet.
Meet Nadine.  Our Prayer Warrior child.

I just had this emotion come over me.  Joy for one.  That God chose us and that we weren't completely engorged in our feasting to miss the calling.  And also, sad.  Because so many children as sweet and innocent as him will live their lives in solitary confinement.  Many children like him will die of starvation today.  Many children like him are living in boxes under bridges.  Many children like him have no family. 

Hatmaker makes it very clear in this book that Christians in early history stunned the Romans with their generosity.  They chose self-denial to alleviate human misery.  They had common funds saved to support the needy.  They did not limit their assistance to members of their own subculture. 

Sometimes I wonder what these men and women of the early Christian church would think of how I do church today.  Would they barely recognize me as a sister in Christ with my stocked pantries, piles of unworn clothes, uneaten food in my trash can?  Would they wonder if we follow the same Bible based on how I live my life?  They would be blown away at the thought of my desire to switch churches because the music is better, more programs are available, the people are nicer, the sermons are shorter, the building is bigger....meanwhile there are more claim to be Christians than orphans.  There are brand-new parking lots being built while 25,000 people die everyday from starvation.

I let this happen.  I allowed myself seconds and thirds of this feast.  And forgot about the 'fasting.' 

If I got back to living the Bible, not just reading it.  I could be a small part of the answer to healing this society.  And if people joined me, enduring the fast.  Giving more.  Living on less.  Then we just might be able to turn the modern church around.  Not neglect the poor and needy at our doorstep.  But take our noses out of the air, take the focus off of getting people in the door and humble ourselves to the needs of mankind.  Sacrifice.  Live. 

No more.  The Bible is no longer my 12-week self-improvement, help me not to cuss, do it because I am supposed too, run-by reading, fix.  No, I can get those books at the library. 

I want to live it.  Be it.  And if that requires addressing more of the 'hard' stuff, getting dirty and deep.  Then hold on, because I already feel like we are being pruned, but obviously there is still more work to do. 

Have your way with me, Oh Lord.  Have your way with me.


  1. Oh sweet Nadine....what a honey. I've touched this girls cheeks, and whispered love in her ear! Would love for this girl to be held by her mommy.

    Can't wait to read '7' - Lord knows I'm living with excess. Looking forward to shedding some dead weight.

    And God's Word. Yes, yes, yes to living it and being it....not just skimming it's pages.

  2. This was awesome you are a insprition to all. Thank you!

  3. So what does living it look like? I'm not being snarky I just don't know what you want to do and I am curious. The early church looked different from ours today. What will you do to recreate the goodness of it? I understand the yearning to be more and do more but what does that look like?

  4. Please visit this blog to see how to help the very, very least of these, Heath, Hanson and the Lost Boys. There is an amazing fundraiser going on now through the end of March. Please tell your readers to visit: