Tallu Quinn, Executive Director of the Nashville Food Project, considers the way hunger and isolation reinforce each other and discusses health as belonging.
Read the following quote and reflect using the questions below.
In his poem "Healing," Wendell Berry writes:
"The grace that is the health of creatures can only be held in common.
In healing the scattered members come together.
In health the flesh is graced, the holy enters the world."
1) Recall a time when you felt restless and scattered. What were your circumstances at the time? Did you feel alone? How did you endure through it?
2) Why can health "only be held in common"? Is the health of an individual isolated from all others true health? Why or why not?
3) Who do you belong to? With whom and where do you feel whole and at peace?
4) How does your own health have to do with the health of those around you?
5) Name an activity or practice you currently engage in that feels life-giving or healing. Why does this give you health? How does it make you more whole as a person?
Consider the following ways to take healing action in your community.
1) Volunteer for The Nashville Food Project if you live in Nashville. If you live somewhere else, find a local organization like this one in your community and ask how you can help.
2) Put some non-perishable food items in ziplock bags, as well as perhaps some hygiene items. Keep these bags in your car for moments when you encounter someone in need on the side of the street. In these moments, roll down your window and give them a bag. This is a more tangible and immediately nourishing gift than any amount of money.
3) If you are on foot and encounter someone in need, consider buying them a meal from a restaurant nearby. Eat with them and ask about their story.
4) When you hang out with friends, instead of going out to eat, invite them to your home and cook a meal together. Observe how this is an altogether different experience than purchasing a meal at a restaurant.