March 13th: Janis

The Reality of Fasting

I always fast during the Christian season of Lent, where we are told to remember and atone for our sins. For me, that normally means putting the pause button on consuming meat or junk food…this year, I am pulling back from sugar for 40 days and nights. My sister is trying her hand at fasting from aspartame sugar substitutes. I guess everyone has their cross to bear. I do have to say that fasting is…well, hard. It is not horribly hard on me physically, it just pushes me outside the realms of my normal reality. Normally, I can (and do) consume pretty much what ever foods I want. My favorites are guacamole, pretty much any cheese and well…sugar, mainly in the form of chocolate.

But fasting is not hard because I have to give these things up. Fasting is hard because it puts me in the frame of mind where I must confront realities I could easily forget in the madness of daily life in the modern world. Realities like injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere; or how I should never be reconciled that the comfort of my life means I should to stop fighting to proliferate peace, justice and love in the world.

In fact, fasting for me is a call to action. It is not a passive action, but a militant and necessary one. It helps bring me back to the reality that I am not merely a worker for justice and peace, but through this action, I am (along with all those that join this fast) realizing peace and justice. But fasting is not an end in itself. So as I fast today, while I am brought closer to the realities that we are all working to transform, I’m planning my next move in this battle and remembering that families like Roxroy’s are leading the way with their ongoing courage and tenacity, speaking out and fighting back!


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