On the night of November 14, 1940, the German Luftwaffe bombed Coventry, England. Included in that bombing was Coventry Cathedral, which was totally destroyed by the ensuing fire. A few days later, the cathedral stone mason noticed that two of the medieval timbers had fallen in to the shape of a cross. That cross later became part of the rebuilt sanctuary, with the words “Father Forgive” inscribed on the wall. A local priest also created a cross from 3 medieval nails….this Cross of Nails became the symbol of Coventry’s ministry of reconciliation. (Info from http://www.coventrycathedral.org.uk/about-us/our-history.php)
Several years ago my husband and I were members of a church which was affiliated with the Community of the Cross of Nails and belonged to a foyer group. A foyer is similar to what many churches refer to today as Small Groups. Part of the theme of the foyer was: “Eat simply so others may simply eat.” (In fact, the recommendation was for a “crust of bread and a glass of beer.”) The group would meet once a month on a rotating basis of members; there would be a simple meal and plenty of conversation. It was a wonderful way to get to know people within the congregation without any pressure to cook a fancy meal or have the perfect house.
“Eating simply” is my new normal. A plant based diet is, by its very nature, simple. That doesn’t mean it lacks flavor; it means preparation requires very little time or energy. (Of course, simple ingredients can also become a gourmet meal if the cook so desires.) In fact, no cooking is required. In the process of my eating simply, I am lessening my carbon imprint on the planet and hoping that someone, somewhere benefits from that. I do know that, in a very small way, I save the lives of one or more animals over the course of a year.
I believe that “Eating Simply” (even if you still include meat, etc., in your diet) is key to living a radiant life. My focus is on consuming food to fuel my body when it’s hungry rather than being consumed by the idea of food. American culture puts so much emphasis on food….gourmet meals, dining out, frozen dinners, the newest diet. Watch a commercial on television and it’s probably about food or drink. We are consumed with food and eating it….look at the people around you on any given day and you’ll see the effects of that consumption. “Eating simply” helps us to refocus, to put food in its proper place. Food is no longer the focus of our attention, our idol. In fact, by “eating simply” we begin to truly live….and then we have the pleasure of investing in the lives of others.