Some time ago, I read an article at Nourished Kitchen about the need to eat healthfully, even on limited budgets. I remember being impressed with one statement in particular.
“Many folks have said we should be thankful for what we have because it fills our bellies, but that doesn’t mean we should be complacent. In a nation of wealth and plenty, we shouldn’t have to settle for beef laced with e coli, chicken contaminated by salmonella, potatoes that rot within a week of purchase or even oranges that are half-rotten before you get them home. We deserve better.”
This brings a sense of humility, acknowledging that I have been one of the poor this article speaks to/of. I choose to spend a little more (not much) money on healthful food and barely need to see a doctor, rather than eating “cheap,” processed filler-crap and being sick frequently with small or big issues.
It’s not a sense of pride that kept me going to the organic section, and passing over iceburg lettuce, Hamburger Helper and bread laden with HFCS – it’s been a very humbling sense that this body is not my own, but it is the Lord’s. I want to care for it, not because I think I am more worthy of it than others, but because He desires to use me – all of us – for His kingdom. I can do that best when I am healthy.
I was thinking of that older article when I read Corbyn Hightower’s article about dumpster diving for organic food when times are tight. I visited her site, as her article had intrigued me. Fallout Shelter is as much a gem as the dumpster diving post.
The thing that caught my eye in Fallout Shelter is the same thing that resonated within me when I read about the food stamp challenge/eating healthfully article at Nourished Kitchen. Being poor and mindful of the things I put in/on my body is not a reflection of pride. It is a reflection of humility. (No, I am not trying to tout that I am not prideful, I am saying that I realize I am “the least of these.”)
If someone thinks for one second that its prideful to be brought so low on the economic chain that you must dumpster dive to eat, must prayerfully request of God that you eat that day, or that you are in a waiting line to receive help from those more fortunate, while still choosing to eat healthful foods that do not harm the body – that thinker is sorrowfully mistaken.
What Corbyn says that speaks to me is, “I’m fully aware of the fact that if our family’s micro-economy hadn’t demanded it, we wouldn’t have become the poster children for ecological family-living that we are accused of trying to be.”
Her poverty brought her to the point that people are contending she is prideful and snobbish about. I have met many people that are poor. Not one of them was proud of that.
Sadly, it is those that insult the “crunchy-poor” that display their own sense of pride. They fail to realize that it is God who gives and takes away, and while we do work hard (man or woman, whether from our homes or out of it) – it is not our own selves who earn anything on this earth.
So, the question nagging in my mind is this… if it is the Lord who gives to all of us, and He also wants us to care for our bodies since they are His holy temple – why would a Believer in Christ demand that those bringing in less money eat crappier food?
I do realize that Corbyn’s article does not speak particularly about religion. This whole thing has brought me to a place where I wonder, though, because I have heard many Christ-followers state the typical “beggars can’t be choosers” bit.
As though the Lord who has given graciously to them should not also display His generosity to the poor through healthful food rather than processed, altered junk that clogs up our bodies and makes us sick. As though they have a luxury to be wise about what goes into their bodies, but God could not (or should not) allow the poor either the luxury nor the wisdom to eat healthfully.
I say KUDOS to Corbyn for making this statement. She makes me rise my head up a little higher – not in pride of my situation, but in a very real way, pride for the Father that loves me so and provides for me in so many good ways, ways that may seem extravagant to others. What glory and honor for Him!
Her article made my shoulders straighten – having been poor, I could feed my family and be ethical. I did not and do not have to choose between the two. I can do this joyfully, following the command in 1 Corinthains 6:
In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for “becoming one” with another. Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.
It speaks directly to sexual relations, and yet, there is more to this verse. The point of it is: what you put in your body is of huge importance to God, whether it’s the food you eat, drugs you ingest, or the people/person (hopefully, prayerfully… singular) you allow yourself to be sexually intimate with.
As followers of Yahweh, we should be encouraging everyone in His kingdom to take care of their bodies through whole body movement, healthful eating, and God-glorifying habits. Even those that are poor.