Dinner’s finished, and we pull out Bibles, to plow on through Ezekiel, book most grueling. I’m scraping and rinsing dishes, putting leftovers in the fridge, while I see him open to ribbon-marker, look down on pages, go silent, intent.
I move back to my chair across from his, and he looks up, a little flushed, heaves a sigh.
“This is going to be hard,” he says.
I think we’re facing more puzzles of words inscrutable (like so much of this prophecy book), and begin to laugh.
“No, not that. It’s convicting!”
So we read. And reread. And pause between to think what this says to us, because we do get its basic meaning. This chapter portion is not riddle-wrought. It’s just hard other ways.
“You look like you’ve been hit,” I say, and he glances over, sheepish. Something’s on his mind…
“I have to go see someone,” his voice speaks hushed, as if to himself.
And we finish and pray — including for open doors this week, and then he goes to tune in the movie we’d planned to watch together. But now I’ve gone sober, too — thoughtful — and entertainment doesn’t seem to sit right, fit right.
I think I need to go be quiet. And so I ask to be excused and tell him why, and he’s fine with that, he’ll watch the baseball guy film, and he doesn’t mind alone.
So I come and sit sober, moved somehow almost to tears, a thing within my spirit hard to draw by words. “Be still,” says my soul, “and sober. And think.”
I need my Bible handy, to read when ready, till then to sit beside. I need to pray. Prayer is the proper and effective start of all things to be done for God, for men: loved ones, or lost, or erring. Not to stop at prayer, but yes, begin there. And TV movies would only intrude, eclipse.
This, I realize, is a sort of fasting. No, not from food, of course not, for we just got up from a satisfying meal. But a fast from entertainment, amusement.
This is another natural fast, rolling from within. The Spirit says, “Come,” and the human soul can answer… or divert to some diversion, divert away from God, and thus ignore the passage that now weighs heavy on the heart.
This is the birth of a fast.
This post is last in a short (and certainly not exhaustive) series exploring “fasting.” Related posts in order, first to last:
The Ache (Obliquely related, but helpful to read with the rest)