“Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me” .Psalm 51:10
When I think about having a pure heart, many things come to mind. I want to be honest with my self and others. I want to think on those things that are positive and true. I want to see all people, including those who are committing the worst crimes, or who are hurting me, through the lense of our Abba Father who loves each one of us with equal passion.
Along with the above list, I could add many items, but one of the most important to me is to eat things that contribute to me having a pure heart.
Isn’t it amazing that David’s prayer would be focused on the heart, which is one of the organs most benefitted by a plant based diet. So when I eat a pure diet, without animal diets, I contribute to a pure heart.
I believe that when we people eat animal products, the suffering of animals is imparted to our bodies. This includes dairy products, where the factory farmed animals have extended torment because of the emotional pain of having their babies torn from them, the physical pain of being miked and being artificially inseminated, and living in poor conditions. So the pain these innocent creatures experience, and which we are responsible for when we eat meat and dairy products, is imparted to our bodies.
I understand how people can resist making the effort to eat a plant-based diet. Although I was a vegetarian since I was 18 (I am now 62) because I didn’t want animals to suffer, I blocked out the fact that eggs, milk, and cheese caused even more pain that animals that are slaughtered because their life is a living death. When I watched a 4 minute video which highlighted the unspeakable conditions of chickens and dairy cows, I immediately made a decision to become vegan. That was about 2 years ago, and I have been so happy to make this decision.
You see, my behavior was incongruent with my beliefs. I didn’t want animals to suffer, but I still blocked out the fact that dairy and eggs caused suffering. Incongruency is similar to hypocrisy. Jesus was hardest on the religious leaders whom he called hypocrites, and I definitely want to avoid having that label!
As I continue down my vegan path, I sense that my heart is more sensitive, and my conscience more tender. I think that eating a plant based diet helps me to have a pure heart on all levels.
Prayer: Abba Father, I want to have a pure heart. If you want me to eat a plant-based diet, please help me have the strength and ability to take that step towards purity. Help me have a pure heart on every level, and show me where I am incongruent in any area. Amen
Meditation: Breathe in “create in me” then breathe out, “a pure heart.” Sit up to a half hour meditating on this scripture and be receptive to how God is leading you.
Journal: Write down those things that you are doing that you think are not in alignment with a pure heart. Write your blocks to eating a plant-based diet, if you are not already eating this way. Ask God to help you deal with these things.
Group work: Share the ways that you fall short of having a pure heart. Have people listen empathically, without judgement.