Published: June 16th 2008June 16th 2008
I completed my second day of classes today and I am enjoying working with the students that I had last summer and getting to know some new students. In my lower level class today we end with a discussion about fasting -- we were discussing a passage from Matthew. One of the students asked about the Lutheran church's views on fasting and my views on fasting. I explained this to them and basically said that while I think fasting has it's place in the spiritual practices, it's not a way that I have often chosen to practice my faith.
Now before I continue, I must share an insight that I gained last summer while reading the book Cairo (the author is a journalist who spent years in Cairo.) In the book I remember reading that the ideal of beauty in Egypt is "soft and pale." I laughed when I read this at the realization that at least there is one place on the earth where my body type is the ideal of beauty!
So back to fasting. The students were making various comments about Lutheran and my personal practices of fasting when one of my students commented, "because Pr. Amy does not fast, this is why she is fat!" I just about fell off my chair, but then I remembered that this pure compliment. Truly. This student would never insult me or anyone else. But I quickly shared with the class that while I understood the meaning of his words, it was best that he never say these words to a Western woman again. Needless to say he was mortified.
All in a days work in Egypt . . .