Thank you for joining the Partners in Health and Wholeness Book Club. You can officially sign-up here. Through it, we hope to engage people of faith in discussions over why our health matters. Our current choice of reading is “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life” by Barbara Kingsolver. We are posting updates through the PHW Facebook page, but our PHW blog page has the discussion posts in full with responses from staff. Just look for the apple on top of the book picture among the blog post pictures and you will find past Book Club entries.
In Chapter Two, “Waiting for Asparagus,” the family has already gone through fall and is now waiting for spring to arrive. Kingsolver reminds us that recipes for asparagus date back 2,500 years and were written in ancient Greek and Egyptian hieroglyphics. Asparagus even inspired the earliest frozen food industry! There is history behind our food; memories are built around food, around harvesting and sharing it after it has been cooked with family.
Furthermore, Kingsolver argues that we as a society recognize the value of patience, but we can’t even wait until the right season to pick and eat seasonal foods, such as tomatoes. We are a society that will “consume tasteless ones all winter to satisfy a craving for everything now.” The “sublime paradox of food culture: restraint equals indulgence.”
If we are waiting on quality, doesn’t this mean patience? Patience is a virtue, and as Christians we practice patience and waiting for the Lord. In James 5:7-8 we read “Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.”
1) Would your family consider practicing patience as the author’s family has to reap the rewards of good food and harvest? If so, what ways can you and your family withhold from purchasing and “giving in” to buying food that is not seasonal or local?
2) As a Christian, how could this directly affect your relationship and faith in God? In other words, could “waiting for asparagus” or other seasonal foods perhaps draw you closer to God? If so, how could you see this blossoming?
–Amelia Brady, PHW Regional Assistant
Partners in Health and Wholeness is an initiative of the North Carolina Council of Churches. PHW aims to connect health as a faith issue. Please visit our website to sign your personal pledge to be healthier, and to find out about grant opportunities for places of worship in NC.