Lisa Boyle is someone who experiences God effortlessly in the environment. A true artist, she sees this world as God’s masterpiece and believes that it tells a story of who He is.
Lisa explains, “Why do the autumn leaves have to be beautiful? They could have been grey and dull, but in the creative process, He put a part of himself into His work. It’s all to help us see God’s character, His true nature. God made the trees the way they are and we can see a part of His character in them.”
Lisa and her husband Vince have always tried to do what they can to live simply, cheaply and generously. Recently however, they have both been embarking on the challenge of consuming with more intentionality and urgency.
Inspired by the Zero Waste movement to decrease household waste, their household kitchen is now full of creative ways to package food. Lisa stores all her loose pantry items - legumes, lentils, nuts, flour and sugar – in passata jars. “They’re tall, they look wonderfully neat, they keep the pantry clean and vermin-free and I don’t need to be constantly throwing out packaging.” When she can, Lisa stocks her pantry from bulk food markets so that she can use her own material bags and jars.
On the occasion that Lisa shops at the supermarket, she avoids plastic bags at all costs. In her fridge, she uses damp pillow cases to store fruit and vegetables – which in fact keeps them fresher than in plastic bags or on their own. Imagine a veggie tray full of old floral pillow cases with twists at the top and you get Lisa’s fridge!
Lisa and Vince have also decided to limit their intake of meat. For the two of them, Lisa buys around 3kg of meat every 4 months. (The average meat eaten per person per year in Australia is 93kg.) Lisa jokes that Vince fulfills his Irish stereotype of desiring ‘meat and three veg’ every night but even he doesn’t seem to mind the new lifestyle shift. What works for them is the freedom to eat meat occasionally and the creativity that goes into making good, satisfying vegetarian meals.
Lisa’s creativity is central to her relationship with both the environment and cooking. “Do a painting, grow some vegetables, make a meat-loaf from vegetables,” Lisa giggles. ““I need to make something, it is just a part of me.”
Lisa offers a beautiful and simple solution to consumerism. “I was walking down the street and the sun was on my face and it was warm and grounding and connecting me to God. It meant that I didn’t need to go shopping or buy anything because I already felt connected.”
How often do we forget that we need so little? Receiving God’s grace through His creation goes hand in hand with how we interact with it in our own homes as well.
Article by Zoe Boyle
Have a read of The Future of Food report. It's a great new resource which delves into the interlinked issues of hunger, poverty + climate change and suggests how we, as followers of Jesus, can respond.