|Empty lunchbag: Fasting on Tuesday|
I am fasting today, and every Tuesday until July 14 in solidarity and remembrance of our brothers and sisters in Darfur. It's been ten years since the violence has escalated there. It's hard to believe for me that so much time has gone by, but it must feel like an eternity for those in the IDP camps. As a granddaughter of genocide survivors, I heard similar stories of horror and displacement from my grandmothers. While there is nothing I can do about our 98-year-old Armenian genocide, I can work toward stopping one that's going on today in Darfur. And so I have joined this 100 day, tag-team fast.
Fasting makes me realize how much I take food for granted. We have food in the fridge. Even when I open it and don't see anything I want, there's still food there. I am spoiled. There's food in the cupboard too. When I get to work, there's food there, in the kitchen. Not only food, but water, and 4 kinds of coffee, and hot cocoa and tea too. There is food in our work area. We are able to eat when we're hungry. And we're able to eat when we're not hungry. Fasting helps me understand that life is not fair. Not everyone has what I have. And as a practicing Christian, it is commanded of me to do something about it. Not to look down and say, "I'm fortunate that I'm not like them," but to ask, "Why don't they have it? And how can I share what I have with them? How can I feel their pain? How can I help?"
In the movie, "It's a Wonderful Life", it's said that an angel gets its wings every time you hear a bell ring. Well, I have a different version of that. When I'm fasting, every time my stomach growls, it's a reminder that tens of thousands of people are without food. They don't have the choice that I do...to end the fast. The growling is their reality. Fasting is a very powerful tool.
Fasting helps me to move myself into a more spiritual realm of faith and power by putting aside my physical desire for food. We put our faith first above our physical needs. And with fasting comes prayer. A prayer for healing and focus. That God heal our hearts to understand the needs of others before ourselves. That we have the strength to push for justice; keep our focus strong and our hearts compassionate to their needs, and also for a realization that we all belong to one another. I also pray for the courage to tell the story, get the word out, and remain vigilant in the cause. Join me and many others. Let's be the change we want to see in the world.
If you would like to join the fast, please click on this link for more information, to sign up, or to donate:
100 Day Fast for Darfur
To hear an audio version of this post, please tune into the April 11 episode of "The Next Step with Father Vazken" at www.epostle.net