I'm gaining weight.
Not a couple of pounds of water retention weight. I'm talking blueberry girl on Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory weight.
The other night, I had a real love fest going on with food. I think I ate everything edible in the house. I may have consumed a few inedibles as well. I don't talk about this much, but many years ago I was bulimic. I don't even want to get into how very sick that is. It's still a sore spot in my soul. When I stopped purging, I became what is called a compulsive eater. I could eat myself sick seeking some sense of fullness that eluded me otherwise. Food was my drug of choice, and without the purge part of the vicious cycle my weight ballooned.
I'm thinking of these things this morning, before I've taken my first bite of food. When I first became Orthodox I struggled to keep the regular fast days; Wednesday, Friday, and before the sacrament of Holy Communion. I haven't fasted for months, and I don't even know what happened. I just seemed to stop thinking about it, and then stopped doing it, but I miss it. It's good to say no to your body on a regular basis. You never know when you will need the strength of saying no at another more crucial time.
Do you ever think about the language we use to describe the things of God? We say we are filled with the Holy Spirit, but not FULL of the Holy Spirit. Do you think it means the same thing being filled and being full? It seems different, doesn't it. When I think of being filled, it seems like it's a process, but being full seems a little more final to me. I don't know about you, but I'll take either, however, if I had a choice in the matter, I think I'd rather be FULL of the Holy Spirit.
Full means I don't need food to eradicate feeling sad, or lonely. Full means I don't have to fret over money or my future. Full means I just write, and proposals fly right out of my head and onto my word processor. Full means no more empty. No more places were God's presence seems AWOL.
I don't feel Full, and it's good to be honest about that.
So, what's a girl to do when she doesn't feel full, and she wants to stop medicating the sad and the scared with the bread of this world, instead of the Bread of Life? One obvious choice is to partake of the Holy Supper. If I had to choose one thing, and one thing alone as the reason that I am Orthodox, it would be the Eucharist. Yes, Lord, to eat of your flesh and drink of your blood. The mystery that is unspeakable. I will stay Orthodox for that alone. But I don't partake of Him everyday, and what of Monday? What of the other days of the week, stretching out before me, seeming endless and empty?
That is when I wish I were Full: when I don't hear Father Leo's big booming tenor, or the sweet harmonies of our choir serving up the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom every Sunday morning.
Maybe God doesn't really want us to be Full this side of Heaven. Maybe, it's best that we are being filled, so that we continue to abide in the Vine. So that we keep our empty tin cups that are our bodies before him. I don't know.
Just fill us, Lord. Not with food or drink or drug, but fill us with Your Spirit. Your Precious Spirit that is God. We are hungry, Lord. We are thirsty. You promised that if we hungered and thirsted for righteousness you would fill us.
Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flow'rs before Thee,
Op'ning to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness,
Fill us with the light of day.