Monday, December 15, 2014

Feeding Individuals and a Community Isn't Easy

My family has a history of physical issues that make it hard for us to eat meat without choking - unless we are very careful to chew it extremely well before swallowing. I haven't had that exact issue, but one of my little brothers almost died of choking on a relatively small piece of meat, and I have an aunt who choked to death at the dinner table. Thus, discussions of teaching meat vs. milk at church mean something different to me than to many members. 

I share that only to emphasize that every person has unique dietary needs and issues of some sort - some that are critical to health and continued life and some that deal only with taste and preference. For that reason, I am wary of describing anything as universally "milk" or "meat" - or insisting that "The Church" teach or not teach something specifically because it constitutes milk or meat to me or to someone else.

I believe strongly that we should be engaged in "meatier" conversations and classes as adults of God, but I also realize that there are many physical adults who still are children of God spiritually - and that, to some degree, that is true of all of us. Thus, I throw out really small portions of "meat" in most group settings carefully to see if it is digestible before putting a larger chunk on the communal platter - and I often "chew on" the meat I put out there by taking a moment to frame it honestly but carefully as something a friend once said - or something I've thought about over the years - or something an apostle once said - or some other phrasing that makes it less likely to cause someone to choke.

Finally, I stopped expecting or requiring "The Church" to feed me a long time ago and shouldered that responsibility myself. Seriously, I wasn't getting "fed" at church with what I needed for my own growth before I left Primary - so I've been feeding myself for a long, long time. I still get a really good meal quite frequently at church, in one form or another, but it usually is dessert to me - not the main course.

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