Daylight is returning, even on somewhat rainy days. In just a week we will have more daylight than darkness. Drumroll!!!
Food. Time. Life. How we think about our lives here and what we are for. Sometimes the most earth shaking changes take place inside our heads when one day we open or close our eyes and something clicks. All at once, we see the world differently and we are able to do things differently. Because we now understand differently.
It was like that for Harriet Fasenfest. One day she awoke and thought about living in her house and yard differently and her life began to shift from consumer to producer. Read about her at: http://www.oregonlive.com/O/index.ssf/2009/03/a_northeast_portland_woman_hom.html.
Harriet now produces food on her property, more than ever. She helps other people produce food on theirs, but it's about more than food. It's a different way of thinking about ourselves, a different way of thinking about what we do with our time. Different thinking about the little patch of land we hold for so brief a time.
I guess the term "American consumer" came into use sometime after WWII when I was a youngster. Industrial production in the US had reached levels never before known on earth. With a war over, we could turn the effort into making more wonderful new stuff to own. Thus we came to think of ourselves in a whole new way: consumers. However, as more and more of the stuff came to be produced elsewhere, we ceased to be producers. Sound familiar?
We can't go on like that forever. So Harriet Fasenfest is pushing into new/old thinking and new/old ways of living on her property and in her community: as a "house holder" not as a housekeeper or homemaker, as a producer rather than a consumer.
In this Sunday's gospel text from John 2, Jesus drives the money changers and the sellers of temple merchandise and sacrificial animals from the temple. The temple was understood to be the place where God lived on earth. Jesus wants it to again be a house of prayer where God produces the benefits of prayer in people, rather than having the temple be a consumer of their resources and meager wealth in the endless round of sacrifices.
Are our temples today producers or consumers? What are we? Is there a way for us to use our freedoms much more productively? Harriet can inspire us. She can open our eyes.