the old saying, “you are what you eat,” ...
... may also be understood in a spiritual context along with a companion proverb, “you are how you eat.”
The companion spiritual practices of hospitality, simplicity, mindfulness, justice-keeping, and more all intersect in a common place -- the food on our tables.
If a deep spirituality is be developed in our lives, such cannot only abide within the realm of piety and religion. Such must also shape even the most mundane and pragmatic considerations regarding who we are and how we live within creation and as part of a larger global human community; certainly the basic human need for food is foundational to such truth.
Ideas for food as spiritual practice abound with creative possibility.
Here are just a few:
During meal time prayer, try including gratitude that notes, specifically, where each of the portions of your meal came from, and for the “sisters and brothers” who grew, harvested, provided these foods.
Consider changes in diet to reflect your growing spirituality of compassion, justice, health and wholeness, etc.
Buy locally produced foods as a prayer of action and practice of good stewardship.
Regularly support local food drives for those who are in need. Have you ever tried dividing your monthly food budget into tenths and committing a “tithe” of this food budget to products you will give to the food bank?
Take a class to learn how to cook healthier food as an act of devotion to the One who provided your body as a gift for ministry and joy in this world.
Become a regular volunteer at a local soup kitchen.
Build a temporary labyrinth using donated canned food cans as the lines. Hold an open walk for others to use the labyrinth to pray for the hungry in your community, then when it is over, give the canned food to the local pantry.
Plant a community garden as a seasonal spiritual practice. Set up a system to let families in need borrow a portion of the garden to grow their own food, or harvest the fresh produce and give it to the local food bank.
If you provide space for local persons-in-need to grow their own food, organize classes to teach best-gardening practices, and provide a tool-coop so your new friends will have the knowledge and tools for success.
How will food become a part of your spiritual life?