prayer for gluten
by Wendy Brenner, reprinted from the Sun Magazine, September 2014
Heavenly father, in your infinite goodness you created the earth and blessed us with its clear, abundant waters and fertile lands yielding plenteous harvests of fruits and vegetables and grains, some of which happen to contain gluten. We praise you, Lord, for creating gluten, an important yet humble source of protein enjoyed for centuries by the peoples of many nations, the great majority of whom didn't even know it existed until recently. God, you sent gluten into this world as you sent your own Son, to save us, not to torment us with vague and possibly imaginary physical symptoms. So please help certain people to remember, gracious Lord, even as they shun and revile gluten, that it is still a creation of your own Almighty hand, and that, being God, you probably knew what you were doing when you created it.
Enlighten those of us in your flock, O Lord, who go about slandering gluten with great authority and volume, even though they never heard of gluten until last year. Gently remind the fearmongering gluten slanderers to study Wikipedia -- which you also created, Lord, so that we might come to know your wisdom more instantaneously -- for they might be surprised to learn that gluten was discovered in the seventh century by Buddhist monks who used it as a substitute for meat, thus sparing from slaughter many of your beloved cows, chickens, pigs and sheep, all of whom might be totally extinct by now were it not for gluten.
Also help us to be mindful, O merciful God, of how gluten itself must feel -- for who are we to say that gluten does not have feelings? (We imagine gluten is appalled, to put it mildly.) As you yourself opined in Romans 14:3, "Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him."
Gluten certainly takes no umbrage at the estimated one out of every 135 people who actually suffers from celiac disease or the euphemistically yet still hatefully named "gluten intolerance." Gluten has been around long enough to know that you can't please everyone. No, gluten has no problem with these people. Gluten will tell you who it has a problem with, Lord, and that's the shameless opportunists who have turned "gluten-free" from a legitimate health mandate into a "lifestyle choice" for no reason other than their own personal gain, preying upon the fear and ignorance of the hitherto gluten-tolerant masses with websites such as Glutenista.com ("on a mission to Make Gluten Free Fabulous for everyone, everywhere") and the sudden proliferation of such glossy publications as Gluten-Free Living, Simply Gluten-Free, and Living Without Magazine (a self-defeating title if we've ever heard one, as presumably the publishers do not want readers to live without the magazine itself).
Gluten knows perfectly well that Exodus 14:14 says, "The Lord will fight for you and you have only to be silent," but gluten has been silent for centuries, God, and guess what: it's not working. Therefore, gracious Lord, gluten would like you to know that it has recently met with an attorney regarding a potential defamation claim. And gluten will tell you something else right now, Lord: it was here long before these gluten haters were born, and it will be here long after they're gone. Not unlike yourself, O Lord, gluten is here to stay