For an explanation of the Daniel Fast, a 21-day fast, see this post. But, to run down, it’s just fruits, vegetables, and seeds with only water to drink.
The things I’ve learned doing the Daniel Fast:
- I snack a lot. I keep reaching for the cookie jar or a yogurt or a piece of cheese and can’t have any of those.
- You can only satisfy snacking with an apple so many times a day before you just don’t want the apple anymore.
- When you lose 7 pounds in 2 weeks, your size 12 pants are almost not too tight anymore.
- My husband and I have been scarily in-tune. Back when we were first married, our friends jokingly called us the “Uni-Brain.” We’ve had more “Uni-Brain” moments the last couple of weeks than I can remember, and it just keeps coming.
- I could live a vegetarian lifestyle, but not vegan. My stuffed grape leaves are not the same without the yogurt sauce.
- This past Saturday, I became seriously spiritually antsy. Like I was very nervous and expecting something. Our pastor preached a sermon Sunday that had me breaking out in applause right in the middle of it. About halfway through that sermon, he said something that pushed against my heart and immediately removed the antsy-ness. I got the message loud and clear.
- I was able to cook 200 servings of marinated, wild-caught, Pacific salmon fillets that a refrigerated truck driver gave to the soup kitchen because a store denied delivery of it, and served them with sour cream and chive potatoes. I did not break my fast. THAT is commitment – especially with all of the kitchen help eating heaping plates full and moaning about how wonderful it all was around mouthfuls of my favorite dinner.
- I really could go for a rich dark chocolate bar or cake or scoop of ice cream. I’m not really feeling very picky.
- I intend to spend a good deal of time in prayer Sunday. I’m really looking forward to that experience.
- This is a true story:
I ran the kitchen for 3 days last week. One day, hardly any help showed up. It was just me and one other girl for a while, then one more girl came. After we open, someone comes and delivers bread and desserts that a local store donates, and then the driver comes to pick up the meals on wheels food that we’ve prepared that morning. Once that’s done, I am supposed to lock the doors and unlock them when it’s time to serve lunch. The day that the staff was really small, I forgot to lock the doors.
I was outside of the kitchen in the dining room sorting the bread and the desserts. The items we can’t use go on a table and we give them out free to the people who come. A lot of people come early to get the good stuff every day. Any boxes of doughnuts and such, we put on the tables, open, for people to just enjoy.
I was alone in the dining room. This is a long room – the length of the church building – and I was at the end, near the kitchen, well away from the only entrance to the room. As I was sorting bread, I turned around and a man was standing right next to me, his arms outstretched as if he was coming in for a hug. He was tall, unkempt, unshaven, sweaty, filthy, and he smelled really bad. I’d never seen him before. But I hugged him anyway. It felt wrong not to. He slapped me on the back and said, “I’ve just been telling people about Jesus!”
I smiled and said, “Amen, brother. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do?” I gestured to the table. “Do you want a doughnut?”
“Boy, do I!” He quickly sat down and opened a box of 3 cinnamon rolls.
I said, “Do you want a cup of coffee, too?”
Around a mouthful of pastry, he said, “Oh yes. Coffee.”
I went into the kitchen, poured him a cup of coffee, and took it to him. He said, “Man, they don’t treat us like this in Indiana.”
I turned around to do the bread, then just a second or two later turned back around intending to ask him where in Indiana he was coming from.
He was gone.
The box of pastries was gone. The cup of coffee was gone. The chair was pushed in. There were no crumbs anywhere. It was probably 20 yards to the doorway (I was way up by the column by the kitchen window, and he would have had to come past where I stood to take this picture) and there was no trace of him.
I asked the girl who was working with me if she saw the guy leave, and she said, “What guy?”
I don’t know who that man was. He was probably a homeless guy from Indiana. But, Hebrews 13:2 immediately came to my mind and stayed with me all day:
Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.
11. I’m looking forward to ending the fast, but I’m also REALLY glad that I’ve had this experience.
I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
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