In another hour, I’ll be taking my daughter to Duke Raleigh Hospital for knee surgery. Her previous surgeries have all be fairly early, so not eating or drinking wasn’t that big of a deal.
Today, though, it’s been a little difficult, because even though we must arrive by 2:15 p.m., her surgery isn’t until 4:15. Since 6 a.m. this morning, she hasn’t had a thing to eat or drink. Out of sympathy, I’m not eating, either. I have had both tea and water but that’s it.
Fasting is a somewhat controversial practice, especially if it’s done for religious reasons. There are those who say to do so is both fine and necessary. There are others who say Jesus died for our sins, so what’s the point of suffering with a fast.
I’m not a fan of organized religion because Man keeps screwing things up with his own interpretations and personal baggage, which is why some pastors are against personal growth for women, others aren’t threatened by it. (My goodness. I think I struck my own nerve with that one . . .)
Years ago, I tried fasting with the church, once. I think I lasted almost 10 days. The pastor was only drinking water for a month. I had a selection of juices, teas and broths. I think I lost about 14 pounds, which of course found me again shortly thereafter. I’m not even sure why we were fasting, but it was around the time the church was going through Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life.
After the first three days, I kinda fell into a routine. I told myself I was fasting for “clarity of vision” (because apparently you have to have a reason to fast, or it won’t count). And because I was drinking juices, that was the source of an entirely different, widespread debate about what consists of a “true” fast. I looked online, and there was a great deal of back-and-forth about what’s right and wrong about the practice.
Bottom line: No one agrees on anything.
I’m fasting, though, out of sympathy and support for Sky. It’s just one day, and Lord knows I can handle it. Post-surgery, the routine is usually saltines and ginger ale. It’s a safe bet she won’t want anything until the morning.
And then, probably ice cream.
The best of all medicines is resting and fasting. ~ Benjamin Franklin
Leslie J. Ansley is an award-winning journalist and entrepreneur who blogs daily for TheRoot. She lives in Raleigh, NC.