For those of you who know my earthy ways Animal, Vegetable, Miracle may not seem like an odd choice for this reading group. But for those of us who are just getting acquainted this may seem like an odd choice. Maybe you found this group when you were searching for some spiritual direction, specifically Christian direction and saw that we read books like The Rule of St. Benedict or The Problem of Pain.
Kingsolver is not unspiritual but she clearly does not write from a Christian perspective. Still her book offers us a great insight into the Christian world and perhaps in a direction that has been overlooked by mainstream American Christianity. To begin I’m posting some questions that I’ve been asking myself, simply some ideas to chew on as we read. I’ll try to address some of these subjects over the next few months and I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Discussion Questions for the Christian reading Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
Is there any spiritual significance in cultivating land? Does it change my relationship with God when I recognize that the same dirt I use to grow plants was used for the creation of man and remains the substance out of which all creatures are made and sustained? Can working this land help me know God better?
Does what I do with my body have an impact on my soul? Does doing meaningful work affect the way I interact with the world? Is there value in producing something through my own physical labor? Does the process of building, growing or creating with my hands help me to understand God as my Creator?
Does experiencing the Creation teach us something about our Creator? How does spending time in nature feel different than being inside in man made structures? Does where we are change how we experience God?
Does meeting our own needs by cultivating God’s Creation teach us anything about meeting the needs of others? Does realizing that all that sustains us comes from God’s Creation help us to develop as sense of gratefulness in our own lives?
What is man’s relationship with animals? Is there any spiritual significance in the way we care for animals whether they be pets or for food? What about in the way we slaughter animals? Does the way we care for animals that we use for food have an impact on our physical health? What about on our spirits?
Is there any spiritual significance in gathering at a common table for a meal? How does eating together verses eating alone affect our relationships with one another? What about with our relationship with God? Does anything change when we work together to grow or prepare food together? Does feeding someone else or depending on someone else to feed us teach us anything about the way that we are fed by Christ?
Does what I put into my body affect me physically, emotionally or spiritually? Does being well fed affect my sense of gratitude or my energy? Is there a relationship between caring for my physical health and improving my spiritual health?
Just some thoughts to get us started. I’d love to hear what questions you have now or as we go through this book. Thanks for reading with us!
. . .
This post is part of our Reading Group series. Right now are reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. We would love for you to join us.