Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Soy on Wednesdays

It really is a small thing and feels somewhat exaggerated even to call it “fasting.”  But it is fasting, it is going without.  It is even strict fasting, but it certainly isn’t harsh.  A small no.  A limit that I do not set but that I submit to.  
  I anticipate it as I wait for the coffee to brew: the sharp taste of soy instead of the smooth sweetness of cream.  I argue with myself as I open the refrigerator and reach past the cream to the soy milk.  
  “Really, what’s the difference?  You’re not truly fasting anyway.  Why not go without any additive?  Why not go without coffee all together?  That would be real fasting.  If you are not going all the way, why fool yourself with half measures?”  
  I grab the soy milk and pour a little in my cup.
  And then the coffee, rich aroma almost like incense calling my sleepy mind to my morning prayers.  For a moment I hold the hot mug to warm my slightly arthritic left hand and peace slowly warms my heart to prayer.  
  With the first sip I remember it's Wednesday.  I remember that today Judas betrayed the Master for silver.  I remember that I too have greedy fingers, wanting what I want, when I want it, the way I want it.  
  I take another sip and look at my icons.  “Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy.”  Another sip, and another.  
  And then the mug is empty and I stand to say my prayers.  “O heavenly King, O Comforter….”  My heart has been warmed by the coffee, by the soy milk, by the early morning struggle to be faithful, by the remembrance of one disciple’s weakness and the soft cry for mercy.  It’s Wednesday.


Nancy said...

I have had almost the same conversation with myself in the mornings...except I use coconut milk for my coffee on fast days! Thanks for sharing.

Michelle said...

Maybe a little gentle fasting (soy substitutes) can be more humble than total fasting (no coffee at all).