I was fasting. Our Lifegroup girls, the circle of women who are heart friends and gather on Thursday nights, decided to fast and pray together for a Syrian family waiting for news about their application to Canada. One of our friends is sponsoring them. And we showed our solidarity—with them and with her. We rallied and we denied ourselves and we added our faith to hope. We decided our Love has to cost us something.
It was while I added greens to the salad bowl that I suddenly realized I wouldn’t be sitting down with my family for dinner. Scott was home and these noisy mealtimes are my favourite. We don’t get to eat together, all five of us, all too often in this season. I treasure these times.
I don’t get to partake.
The pain was not of hunger, but of loss.
It was not about not eating. It wasn’t about the food, but about the community. It was about being a family around a table. That’s when I realized: not partaking is as much a statement as is fasting.
I wondered how many have to watch, longingly, while we eat …
Not partaking is siding with the ones who don’t have a seat at the table yet.
Not partaking is joining in the longing for home, a table, a family, enough.
Not everyone has access yet.
Not everyone is here yet.
We are still missing people at the table.
Those who eat on the run.
Those who eat in hiding.
Those who eat in fear.
Those who don’t have enough to eat.
Those who eat last.
Those who eat least.
Those who may not eat at all.
Those who are NOT there, are as important as those who are.
When we fast, we enter into solidarity with the missing voices, the missing bodies, the silent cries. When we fast, we remember some are missing from the table. When we fast, we remember not everyone is home yet.