We often live very compartmentalized lives. We go to church to do spiritual things. We go to school to learn. We work at work. We work out at the gym. We sit on the couch to watch TV. We sit at coffee to chat with a friend. Sometimes my body does it while my mind and my spirit are not engaged. Often my mind does stuff while my spirit and body do nothing. But perhaps the situation that happens least is when my spirit is engaged and my body and mind are either quiet or in compliance.
There are some hazards to living with one’s being all diced apart like that. The body does stuff the mind and spirit never gave it permission to do. The mind thinks things disconnected from the spirit etc. Yet when one fasts, there are ways of fasting that cause your body to listen to your spirit. And it’s not through fighting with the image of a cheeseburger in your head. Instead, as the hunger-pangs hit you, it is as though your body is a desert of dry bones longing, longing, longing... longing for the spirit to fill the wind and bring nourishment to your soul. The hungrier one gets the deeper your spirit longs—as though your entire being is buried in longing—longing for God. Being hungry is only a symptom of lack of sustainance. Perhaps we should all be hungry with longing until the sustenance arrives. Yet what sort of sustainance are we talking about.
I’ve been noticing the food and hunger themes in my life. In my dreams, I often find myself at banquets and church picnics where there is no food. I am hunting for food in dangerous places. I am often hungry for something but I can't discern what it is. I go to the grocery store and look at everything and I don’t want any of it. I planted a garden this summer but was too busy to harvest it. I am thirsty and I drink water but it never seems to satisfy completely. I come home to an empty house. I make dinner. I sit down to eat it at the kitchen table and I don’t feel like eating it because I am alone. Conversely, I go to my parents’ house and immediately head to the kitchen to talk to my mom as I open the refrigerator. There I eat at the kitchen table with my family and I am satisfied.