The Fast I Choose

The Fast I Choose

Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly” Isaiah 58:8

Last night, we went with friends to watch, Moonlight. I was not all that thrilled to go see the movie, but ended up loving it. My low expectations may have contributed to the movie’s impact on me.

There was one particular scene in the movie that moved me. The main character, Chiron, was playing in a field with a group of bigger boys. In the middle of the game, he walked away and stood alone. As the camera focused on Chiron standing alone in silence, a flood of faces started racing through my mind. I saw the faces of children from my past, who were silent, abused and craved love.

I saw Jose, a child from my first camper group at Koinonia. The neighborhood boys called him, Moondog, because he was so ugly he barked at the moon. There was Malcolm, a mentally challenged boy, who brought his anger to camp. He tested the patience of many counselors. However, he was nothing more than a wounded child in desperate search of love.

There was the face of an 8 year old boy whose name I cannot remember. He kept borrowing other camper’s shoes. We discovered he had only brought one pair of broken flip-flop sandals to camp. When I called his mother, she told me that was his problem, nor hers. I bought some shoes and gave them to him. His face lit up when he asked, “Did my mom get these for me?” Um, yeah.

This is the season of Lent. Many people will adopt a personal Lenten discipline, or, fast. However, in today’s scripture, Isaiah shares how God expects the entire nation to fast.

Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to let the oppressed go free? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them?

We need to hear these words as a nation. This is in not about spiritual food, or a heavenly home. This fast is about the poor, the hungry, the widow, the orphan and the resident alien. It is about the silent, weak children who desperately crave love.

The wounded children who entered my thoughts last night remain a constant source of joy. Despite out limited time together, they remind me of the joy found in serving. They discovered a place of joy by receiving love. And, I discovered joy through giving it. When we are challenged to love those who are unloved by the world, “healing springs up quickly.”

Click to read: Isaiah 58: 1-9

Reflection Questions:

  • What is your personal fast this Lenten season?
  • How can we do a national fast among so many differing opinions?
  • How do you serve those less fortunate?
  • How can serving lead to joy?

Photo Courtesy of Unsplash.com

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