I have a food problem.
We have a love/hate relationship, food and I. Something so fundamentally functional doubles as the arsenal in a battle waged against my emotions. Identity, success and failure, “good” and “bad” hinges upon simple acts like hand-to-mouth, and mouth-to-stomach. The very thing that could “win” the battle is what brings my defeat.
I don’t think the fall of mankind was arbitrarily brought on by eating. Don’t you feel like food goes into the deepest part of you? Like the bottom of your stomach is the closest thing to the emotions that feel inseparable from yourself? “Go ahead, Eve, take a bite.” She was tempted with the lie that she and Adam would become like God. They believed the lie and ate, and the power button on the idol factories that are our hearts was pressed by the forbidden fruit. Not ironically, as deep as food seems to go into the depths of me, so does idolatry.
It’s as if the Almighty knew that gluttony and the idolization of food would be the widespread (though under recognized) problem that it is for humanity. In varying degrees, in varying seasons, most of us (if not all) have relived our first bite of sin. Don’t we try to self-deify in the moments we emotionally eat, Adam, as if we have the power to fix the mess on our insides? Don’t we think that we can become omniscient by our own volition, Eve, like we know how to answer our innermost call out to our Creator? Further, we desperately try to employ the very thing we idolize to fill the void left by the idolization thereof. Food, the forbidden fruit, will always yield a void. We tithe to ourselves with food, and we take and take and take, and always end up empty.
This is a picture of what I desire: satisfaction, arousal of the senses, something good, an experience, something emotional, pleasurable, comforting – but it is never enough. There is a never-ending craving for more and more and more; more of the stuff that isn’t designed to truly fill. “I’m eating my emotions”, we say. No, we are eating our death.
Man does not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of Adonai.
“This is my body,” He said, “broken for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” The broken body: the one that bore the cross and the wrath of God, that was pierced for our transgressions, that was bruised for our iniquities, that rose again, that is seated at the right hand of God, that came that we might have life and have it abundantly, that made us new creations, that gives beauty for ashes, that tramples over death by death, that has chosen us that we might bear fruit, that died in our place.
“This is my body, broken for you.” Take, and EAT. Eat and be satisfied. Be filled in every way with the fulness of God. Indulge in a new kind of “full”. Take in the grace and truth and light offered to you. Let it go down to your inmost parts, and be true substance and sustenance. Take and take and take the Bread of Life, and be filled.
Take in the power that defeated the grave. Take in the Name that makes the enemy flee. Take in the grace that sets us free. Take in the love that sacrificed. Take in the rest for the weary and heavy-laden. Take in the hope that promises salvation. Take in the mercy that is new every morning. Take in the blood that leaves no stain. Take in the body that brings us to righteousness.
Take. Take. Take, and eat.
With a bite we found our death, and with a bite we are given life.
*please know that I write this with sensitivity toward those diagnosed with eating disorders