• Sue Ellen Jones

What's for dinner?

Updated: Sep 7, 2019

While visiting my friend from China I was introduced to a traditional meal. Many traditional foods were placed lovingly on the table in little white bowls. There were a couple of fish and rice dishes and a bowl of dark green seaweed and another bowl with some kind of miso soup. There were several dishes completely unknown to me. The food was delicious and the conversation was as fulfilling as the meal, upon finishing everyone was satisfied. Our time spent eating and chatting around the table was a spiritual feast. How important is community to our overall wellbeing? This, I think, is an important question.

Though much of the food was new to me I enjoyed it very much. I trusted the meal was also nutritious. The dinner represented the local farmer's market as well as the local fishermen.The Chinese take great care to use safe, natural and organic food. My friend had spent considerable time shopping at local markets to get the freshest and tastiest selections possible. What a good friend!

This makes me want to ask, what's for dinner at your house? Oh not in a nosy sort of way but just drawing attention to the lack of thought and effort that goes into most of our meals. We are some of the wealthiest people on the planet yet often eat like paupers. Do we not have excellent choices available to us? Yes, indeed we do! As a nation we grow amazing amounts and varieties of food along with raising beef, chicken, and pork. There's also plenty of seafoods available. And we have farmer's markets and co-ops in many and most towns. So what's up?

We don't honor the dinner hour with our time anymore. We are a driven people, too busy to even care about what we eat. We seem confused and uncertain as to what is really important. We have no sense of security, we are desperately afraid of what the future might hold. Our neighbors and associates live a certain way and we feel the pressure to measure up to a hypothetical standard. The end result is demoralization, depression, passivity, anger and even quitting all together. Dinner time is not even on the radar.

The price for conformity is high.


Pearl of Wisdom; Establish a peaceful family dinner tradition it will help to establish balance in your life and less fear.

I want to help us all re-focus. The external world is not your enemy. Neither is your schedule or the hand you've been dealt, all can be changed. Slow down. Make dinner something to look forward to. Let some other things go. Your family needs to know what 'time' is sacred. Common-unity happens around the table blending hearts, strengthening the ties that bind. Heap Good Energy. Bringing people together who care about each other is a healthy practice. Spending the dinner hour sharing our days activities, enquiring about each other in sincere ways calms our nervous systems, helps with digestion and often times can be spiritually inspiring. Think of it as a debriefing and connecting time.

As far as the actual meal goes, food is our fuel, it needs to be high octane. Try to include some produce, fruits and vegetables. Think of the earth as a great big garden, a super market. Produce from Mother Earth is packed with vitality and energy that our bodies need.

Fresh vegetables and fruit, whole grain breads, fresh clean fish and meat, healthy dairy and fats are our source of energy, enzyme, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

I began with a story. An experience I had with a Chinese friend at lunch. The lunch was prepared by loving hands. Every dish prepared for friends and family to truly enjoy and relish. Lunch was a dietary delight that fed our bodies and our souls. Strong feeling of belonging, worthiness were ladled into our heart bowls. Connections were made with our feelings of compassion, kindness, consideration. Warm feelings passed around just like the little white food dishes. Traditionally in most countries, meals bring folks together and it is a sacred event. It was in the bible as well. Jesus shared his greatest teachings with his disciples around a table, some called it the meal that heals. It's incorporated into most church sacraments as COMMUNION. Unfortunately most institutions miss the point, a real meal with real fellowship, conversation and bantering. Why is that important? Because Jesus became the meal, the loaf of bread and the cup of wine that are passed around the table to eat, while engaging in heart to heart communion. Jesus did not become a solemn ritual with a tiny cup of grape juice and a teeny crumb of bread. Eat me, he said. And pass the new wine 😀

I don't pretend to be an authority on the subject nor do I quote the latest guru's of Psychology or Theology. I am sharing from wisdom gained from my inner man in the secret place.

Here is a keeper: no matter what is affecting our health, even if our lifestyle is completely out of whack, I believe a change in our minds, a change in our thinking accompanied by strong emotions of Joy, Peace and Love are reflected in our bodies.

Pearl of Wisdom: During dinner with the family begin to express thankful to God for food and for the family. And then listen to their hearts.This is communion. You are now partaking of the divine body and blood of Christ always and forever expressed in loving ways.

My Chinese friend fixing dinner.

Some of her delightful dishes.