Posted on the Squeetus Blog May 07, 2006 02:28 PM PST.

I'm fasting today (i.e. not eating or drinking anything for 24 hours). I realize that this might seem a bizarre custom to people who don't fast, though it seems normal to me, having done it once a month since I was about eight (except when I was pregnant or nursing, of course). There are various spiritual reasons for fasting, but the really cool thing about it that I keep thinking about today is the offerings. In the church I belong to, all the members are asked to fast once a month and then donate the money we would have spent on those two meals (or a little more) as "fast offerings." The money is used to directly help the poor in our area to get food, pay rent, buy clothes, etc. Any surplus money from that area then goes to a central fund to help in other areas. Fast offerings recently went to help Katrina victims. Can you imagine the impact if everyone in the world did this? Skipping two meals once a month is something most people would be capable of doing. And then using that money to help others--we could do some serious damage to poverty worldwide. I think fasting and fast offerings as a secular practice could be suggested on a national scale with some pretty wonderful results. I don't suppose the president of the United States is among my daily visitors? No? Queen of England? Just checking...

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