The Prophet Isaiah has some powerful words to share about what kind of fasting truly pleases God. In Isaiah 58, the writer says, among many other things, that a fast acceptable to God is one in which we do not hide ourselves from our own kin (see verse 7). If we choose not to hide, but to instead give ourselves freely to others for the sake of love and justice, then our “light shall break forth like the dawn, and [our] healing shall spring up quickly” (verse 8).
When I have not hidden myself from other people, when I have taken the risk of being fully myself and giving all of myself in love, it is in those times that I have felt closest to God. It is at those moments that I know that the Holy Spirit is living and active in my life. Recently, I have experienced this most profoundly in the intentional community I belong to as part of my internship. With these other seven other people I have found a home where I feel safe, accepted, and loved. The more that I have chosen to be open and honest with them about my life, the more I have been blessed, challenged, and affirmed in my belovedness as God’s child. Through the power of God working through this Christian community, my light has indeed broken forth like the dawn.
— Dan Bell