Top shelf: a jar of homemade pickles, half gone and short on cucumbers, but still heavy on jalapeños and dill. A dozen cage-free eggs. Miyoki dairy free butter. Bubbies sauerkraut.
Second shelf: a Tupperware container of garden-grown watermelon. Lettuce. Cashew milk. Welches grape juice. Treeline cashew ‘cheese’, scallion flavored. Leftover sweet corn. A gallon of maple syrup. Two new york strip steaks in butcher paper. A bottle of rosé wine. Homemade lavender simple syrup.
Pull out drawer: salami. Antibiotic free pepperoni slices. Dairy free mozzarella cheese. Middle drawers: a bag of garden beets, a bag of garden cucumbers, green peppers, and lemons. Bottom drawer: a bag of carrots and a bag of celery.
Do you feel any calmer while reading that? Did you go through your own fridge in your mind?
Going through the contents of my fridge (in my mind), top to bottom, during panicky moments, was a suggestion I heard from a mentor. She had recovered from complex PTSD which, like me, had struck many years after surviving a traumatic childhood.
The fridge exercise brought my mind into the present moment and out of fight or flight. It was especially helpful if I ‘smelled’ (in my head) the pickle jars and the green peppers. I believe it’s called ‘grounding’ techniques.
But I am trying to make a greater point with this fridge stuff:
Many people can tell you about healthy eating, implying they watch what they eat. Take a peek at their refrigerator contents, and you will see for yourself what their belief system actually entails (regarding food anyway).
Before the PTSD hit, I was already being careful with what I ate due to various health issues. These days I am even more careful.
As a result of my special diet(s), some years back I was invited to attend a trade show by a friend who works in the natural food industry. I walked around gobbling free samples of dairy free cheesecake. I drank green juices that (thankfully) didn’t taste like green juices. I chewed gummy collagen samples to erase facial lines. It was great fun. (Though I still have wrinkles). After the last night of the show, several of us gathered at a swank West Coast restaurant, eager to indulge in more food and knowing we would put the expensive meal on a company credit card. I was thinking I would be amidst kindred folk at that table.
Not so much.
I was the only wierdo avoiding the bread basket and asking the waitress if the butter being sent out with the lobster was clarified.
The man across from me, who had invented a dairy free health product for ‘people like me’, buttered his bread and ate the cheese in his salad. He put his order in and didn’t question a thing on the menu. Once his own health issue had cleared up; the inventor of dairy free products went back to eating what he wanted and helping others heal; while he saw himself as already healed.
The two brokers ate and drank whatever they wanted as well. Oh, they expressed a bit of interest in my vigilant eating habits. So I thought they’d want to know the thoughts of someone who bought all those products they were hawking.
Their eyes glazed over at that, and I welcomed their changed subject.
Considering that I was the demographic they were selling their wares too, I found their disinterest a bit odd. And, even more strange, I would have thought that their own dining choices would better reflect the things they were inventing and selling.
It finally hit me. They were selling.
I was the one buying in.
My diet that evening reflected my status as a believer. Meanwhile the things they were putting into their own mouths did not match the things they were espousing.
But I’m not here to judge that. It is just food after all.
When it comes to being a Christian–it’s obvious when people are giving lip service to God. Perhaps they bought in a while back but now that they are ‘better’; they do whatever they want again or they go off to heal others based upon their status of already arriving at good health.
Again, I really don’t care that much what people eat. I mean, it’s interesting to me. But it is Jesus’ church, and the gathering of the saints–that’s where my main interest lies.
When it comes to Christianity, I believe it is best to buy in yourself. Really buy in… Before you try to sell Jesus to anyone else. Because when more of us are willing to take it seriously, it discourages the posers and wolves and abusers from finding shelter amidst the flock. Someone needs to show up fully sold out and ready to do business with a stick in hand, considering that wolves are a given in the church.
I believe the sixth chapter of John gives us the perfect ‘instruction’ on how to take Christianity seriously. In that chapter, the disciples had just seen Jesus do miracle after miracle and ended up asking Him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
Jesus answers in a profound statement found in John 6:29
‘Believe in the one whom He has sent‘
That’s all there is to it.
Believe in Jesus.
That’s the work that God requires. And it is so simple! We don’t have to turn water into wine like He did. We don’t have to raise the dead like He did. We just need to believe that He did those things.
It felt so freeing when I first discovered that verse years ago.
In time, though, I really began to understand what it entails to believe in something.
It’s tossing things into the trash which others might still want to eat. It’s seeking out alternative sources to buy hard to find items which can cost you a lot and make you feel like an outcast or a weirdo when you are out with others. It’s when nothing looks the same anymore from what it once was: not the contents in the fridge nor your heart.
If we believe in Jesus, it shows in our words, but that’s merely the beginning. Our actions show it. The way we interact. The way we pray. The way we conduct business.
I am examining myself, lately, to check for such inconsistencies. I know that it is time to toss some things on the shelf. To stop taking short cuts and prep food myself. To take stock and to make homemade stock. To tweak my life and to take out some trash. To plant a bigger garden and scatter more seeds. To stop filling up on junk, and to find contentment in the meat of Proverbs and Revelation.
I don’t want to be selling something I don’t use myself. And while the ones ‘buying in’ may still be benefitting from what I am hawking (or handing out for free), what a sad state of affairs it is — if I, myself, am not benefitting the most from my belief in Jesus.