Today I am finished! I will celebrate tomorrow morning by eating an apple, and maybe some cheese. I look forward to things becoming regular again (in many ways). But today ended with a beautiful vision of what I think the church is called to be. At St. John’s we have weekly Community Drum Circles. There is anywhere between 8 and 15 people who come to these, most of whom do not attend St. John’s. Some are very well off, some are quite poor. Some are close to 70, and some are close to 7. Some are incredibly outgoing, and some are incredibly shy. But what is beautiful about it is that it has become about much more then just drumming, but it has become a community where we care about each other, love each other, speak into each others lives. I love it, and look forward to it every week. A couple months ago we decided that we were going to have a potluck once a month, on the first Wednesday of the month. I decided that I was going to make something with the rest of my diet food. It was sort of embarrassing bringing it to the potluck, having it sit beside paiaya, rhubarb crisp, Popeye’s pizza, Caesar salad and dark chocolate almonds. But as we all sat around the table who made what didn’t matter, everyone ate as much as the wanted, no one went away hungry. I got my vegetables, and my chicken and all other things I had been missing the past few days, and people ate my rice with potato/corn/mushroom soup sauce. We talked about body insecurities, we talked about aging, we talked about art, about victories and defeats. It was really great, and once we finally got around to drumming, the energy was electric, we were drumming as a group, as one body. I got home and reflected on the evening and thought to myself, this is what the Eucharist is supposed to be, a group of people made one in Christ by eating at one table and sharing real food. How would it change if part of our Eucharist was a genuine meal where food is redistributed, where those who don’t have receive enough, and those with more then enough share from their plenty? It seems very biblical to me. Feeding of the Five Thousand maybe?
Now I know that this diet was supposed to bring awareness of the inadequacies in our social assistance programs, and let me tell you it did that in spades. I am more convinced then ever after the past three days of the need for a $100 healthy food supplement added to social assistance checks. I also know that what I had to live on for three days, most people have to stretch out over 1 or sometimes 2 weeks, maybe even more. All I had was a minuscule experience, a small glance at what living in poverty is like, and I did not like what I saw. But tonight made me aware that our churches need to step up too, we need to become communities of radical redistribution. We need to realize the Eucharist is about both physical and spiritual feeding. We need to re imagine what being the church really means, and it has something to do with that group of drummers sitting around that table sharing their food with each other.