Wednesday was World Food Day, and as I have been reading and thinking about food justice and the daily act of eating I keep remembering meals and food from my time as a YAV. Whether it was cooking around a fire with the women of the town where I served in Guatemala,eating food from a street cart, trying new fruit I had never heard of and couldn’t pronounce, cooking with my community members in Nashville, growing tomatoes in our front yard, or talking through conflicts and sharing joys and concerns over a shared meal, eating and food were significants parts of my YAV experiences. Some of my most memorable conversations and biggest life-lessons happened over a shared meal, whether we were sitting at a wooden table, on a denim couch, or around a fire.
The act of breaking bread together reminds us of our need for physical and spiritual nourishment. We give thanks for the many new experiences and memories that happened around food during our YAV years. We give thanks for the people who cared for us by cooking and sharing meals with us. We give thanks for the physical and spiritual nourishment we gave and received with so many people during our YAV experiences, for the relationships that formed and deepened as we fed ourselves together.
A prayer from Nicaragua for this week of thinking about food:
Thank you, Lord, for the bread.
Give bread to those who are hungry.
Give hunger for justice for those who have bread.
Thank you, Lord, for the bread. Amen.