I haven’t had the best relationship with food. I actually don’t love talking about it, because food and body image have been a source of anxiety and shame for me. The worst part about recovering from disordered eating is that unlike drugs or alcohol, you can’t just quit eating. Though I’ve done my work in counseling and with a nutritionist to rehabilitate my relationship with food, this chapter in Liturgy of the Ordinary was a holy reminder that food is so much more than a simple tool to use to keep surviving.
Food is a vulnerable thing for me. It exposes my insecurities that still hide in the corners of my mind. It is also a beautiful thing—I am nourished by Portland’s amazing foodie culture as well as the relationships I sustain when I share a slice of pizza or a cone of Salt & Straw ice cream with a loved one. It is the irony of ironies for someone like me who has had issues with food that God’s chosen way of being remembered by God’s people is through eating and drinking. Every time I come to the communion table, I am reminded of His presence and work by participating in the very activity that makes me feel so vulnerable. I experience a sense of profound intimacy when putting the bread and cup to my lips, knowing that those elements sustain my body and my heart. I am connected to the land, my body, and my community in that simple action of breaking and taking.
Though it sometimes feels like a chore or a burden to make and eat meals, I am grateful that God meets us there. I can open myself up to the help that I need in so many areas, whether it is asking my roommates about how to cook a vegetable, or praying against the lies that my body is too-much-not-enough, or practicing gratitude for the overabundance in my life that I so often neglect. I find that God and other people are the true gifts that accompany and provide my nourishment in a meal, even as insignificant as leftovers. For those reminders I am so thankful.