Friday after Ash Wednesday: Isaiah 58
The words that caught my attention this morning regarded fasting: “This, rather, is the fasting that I wish: releasing those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke; setting free the oppressed, breaking every yoke; sharing your bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless;”
We usually think of fasting as doing without, giving something up from our diet. And when we fast, we are brought to a real consciousness of our body – its hungers, the empty feeling, pain or discomfort. Interesting to think of “fasting” as releasing others from their pain.
Could we accept that kind of fasting as abstinence from unconsciousness?
We walk through our days so unconscious much of the time, lost in our own frustrations, busyness, and conceits. Becoming conscious of how our actions and non-action affects others requires awareness.
I’ve appreciated what my friend Susan said in reflection to yesterday’s post and how she was replacing worry with laughter. I was aware of that this morning as I wrote. What would make others laugh, smile today?
Practice awareness today. Be conscious of the moments of grace that tap your shoulder and ask for attention, the moments when a simple smile can transform someone’s life and loosen their yoke.