Good morning. A few months ago I took a good look at my, well, “fleshy” excesses, and like so many others this year, embarked upon the fashionable regime of fasting. Two days each week of eating very little, and five days of eating sensibly. And it worked. In the absence of scales, the ends of the knotted piece of string I was using round my waist began to overlap, and an inch or two later, I felt much better.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Those days of fasting gave me a couple of new insights. The first was how much more I tend eat than I need to in order to feel sated. The second was how cold I felt when my body hadn’t had enough food. At night I’d often get out of bed and put my dressing-gown on, and then sausage roll myself in the duvet to keep warm. I found that without fuel, my body struggles to heat itself.
With energy and food prices high, I’m now a little more conscious of what some might be going through behind closed doors. Those that are becoming steadily exhausted by meagre meals and cold rooms.
In my city of Nottingham churches running food banks are working together to make sure there’s at least one open somewhere in the city every day of the week. And what I call “pop-up” shelters are being run in church halls for five months until March. Thanks to volunteers, air beds are put on floors, and hot meals are served.
But that will only scratch the surface of need. And when so much suffering is happening in silence it’s hard to reach. Especially if pride or embarrassment gets in the way of asking for help.
Father God, help us to see the needs in our communities. Give us a heart that cares, the energy to respond, and the inspiration to know how. Amen