In case we’re in any doubt about the spiritual dimension of the battle with eating disorders, here’s a genuine prayer from a “pro-ana” website, (I haven’t put the link as I think it might be triggering).
‘Pro-ana’ is a term for the promotion of anorexia as a lifestyle choice. Sometimes it’s just called ‘ana’ and personified. (‘Pro-mia’ works the same way, but with bulimia).
I offer you my soul, my heart and my bodily functions. I give you all my earthly possessions.
I seek your wisdom, your faith and your feather weight. I pledge to obtain the ability to float, to lower my weight … I pledge to stare into space, to fear food, and to see obese images in the mirror. I will worship you and pledge to be a faithful servant until death does us part.
If I cheat on you and procreate with Ronald McDonald, Dave Thomas, the colonel or that cute little dog. I will kneel over my toilet and thrust my fingers deep in my throat and pray for your forgiveness.
Please Ana, don’t give up on me. I’m so weak, I know, but only you with your strength inside me will I become a woman worthy of love and respect. I’m begging for you not to give up, I’m pleading with my shallow breathes and my pale skin. I bleed for you, suffer leg pains, headaches and fainting spells.
Today, I renew our friendship and resolve to be faithful to you year long, life long. … If you give me the strength to fade away I will love you and worship you forever.
Love Always, (insert your own name)
Q. What sort of a god is ‘ana’?
Q. What does she offer?
Q. What does she demand?
“Those who make idols will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.” (Psalm 115:8)
What does the true Lord say to those who are enslaved?
“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.” (Isaiah 61:1)