• Leslie Crews

How A 31-Day Social Media Fast Changed My Life

I’ve seen God work too many miracles to not believe that things will work out for the better.

There’s a lot of anxiety evoking news in circulation. You can’t avoid it. From the very beginning, people have been glued to computer screens, TV screens, phone screens in a desperate search for life saving information. People are so tuned in, that they are spending more time online, hoping for an ounce of relief, than they are spending relying on their religious and spiritual beliefs.

At the start of all the pandemic mess, I had just embarked on my first serious try at fasting. I had second hand experience from friends and family members who, for religious and spiritual purposes, would intermittently fast from food. I’d heard of people praying and fasting in hopes of having prayers answered, but fasting wasn’t something that I thought I was strong enough in my faith to do.

I had this false idea that if you fasted for religious reasons, it meant your faith was stronger, that you were more devout in faith than other believers. I’ve since abandoned this idea, but until I completed a 31-day fast for myself, I could only admire the people who fasted and prayed consistently.

As a child I remember hearing two stories about my maternal great-grandmother, Granny. The first, was that Granny would walk to church every day rain or shine. The second story was of Granny’s ability to fast for an inhumanely long time. Family legend says that Granny didn’t eat anything for the 40 days leading to Resurrection Sunday. Fasting was an important part of her devotion to God.

By the time I came around, she was in her eighties and had stopped her daily walks to church and fasting because of her health. Back then, when I’d ask why she liked to go to church so often she’d say, “because my friend is there”. I don’t know for sure whether she was talking about a person or God. But what I know for certain is that she loved God above all else.

Granny lived through endless pages of an American history book. She was a small black woman, married in the 1920s, raised children through the1930s, grands and great-grands through the 1960s and ‘70’s. A quick history lesson of Nelson County, Virginia and Washington DC will reveal a lot about what people in this country have overcome.

I’d imagine that, much like many of us are feeling in the corona virus era, at some point in Granny’s life, she faced fear, hopelessness, and uncertainty. But having lived through the myriad of challenges, she lived to see how, not by her own strength, she and her family made it through. I now understand why she loved God so much.

Granny was grateful.

Though small and frail when she passed, the deepness of her faith was beautiful to me. Even as a child, I knew that something about her connection with God was special. It fascinated me.