Lots of us have tried keeping food diaries – noting down what and when we eat – in the hope we can identify what triggers us to eat half a packet of chocolate digestives in the middle of the afternoon!
But what about keeping an ‘Eating With’ diary?
And trying to notice who you are with when you eat each day.
Because I’d like to suggest that who you are eating with is as important, if not more important, than WHAT you are eating and when.
Last Saturday I got together for lunch with three of my children to celebrate my oldest daughter’s birthday and my friend’s engagement. It was a wonderful opportunity to be with people I love. But, since then, I’ve had seventeen further meals – only sharing about half of these with others, the rest being eaten on my own.
When we eat with someone we not only share our presence but also our attention. We listen and learn from the people we are with, we enjoy their company and we put aside other tasks simply to be with them and eat together.
In the Bible Jesus eats with all kinds of people: with his friends and his disciples; with crowds – like the 5000; with the religious authorities - like Simon the pharisee; with ‘sinners’ - like the woman who comes in and washes his feet while Jesus is eating with Simon; with all kinds of people.
To be a Christian is really to accept Jesus’ invitation to be with us. To accept his request that we open the door of our hearts so that he might come in and ‘eat with us.’ That he might share his presence and attention. That he might hear our problems and we might listen and learn from him. That we might enjoy each other’s company and put aside other tasks simply to be with one another and eat together. Which is what we do when we get together on Sundays and share Holy Communion.
So keep an ‘Eating With’ diary. Look at the meals that are coming up over the next few days and try to make the most of them by sharing them with others – both those you know and love and those you don’t know but might come to know and love.
And let’s remember that, whenever, we do this. Jesus is with us. And his presence is the greatest blessing of all.
Posted By Martine Oborne