Hunger & Abundance

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How am I supposed to reconcile these differences?

Photograph: Charlotte Cook, the Mancunion

Today, I read this article on the hunger crisis reaching from the Horn of Africa across to West Africa. Severe droughts that were all over the news last spring have spread, and people are struggling to recover from it. Families are selling everything they’ve got to buy expensive food. Children are going hungry. People are dying.

And then I read this article and within the first couple of paragraphs, I was humbled. Not only do I have access to a bounty of food, but I also have access to whatever KIND of food I’m in the mood for. Sushi? Pasta? Chocolate? It’s all right at my fingertips. I throw away more food than people across Africa can imagine.

Truth is, I can’t reconcile them. It’s not fair. But there are things I can do about it. Not for the entire Horn of Africa, or for all 143,000,000 orphans, or for all women sold into prostitution, but maybe for one… I think the point isn’t so much that we change the world, but that we change ourselves.

“Is this not the fast that I choose…to share your bread with the hungry…If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually…” (Isaiah 58:6-7,10-11)

A co-worker sent me a message this morning with this quote in it. It made me stop and think a bit about those words I’ve read (and quoted) a lot. Think about this:

“At the end of our lives, we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made or how many great things we have done. We will be judged by ‘I was hungry and you gave me eat. I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless and you took me in.'” – Mother Teresa

Let’s let that be our life’s song and legacy. That we lived not for ourselves, for God.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Vanessa says:

    Very timely post. I have been thinking about hunger / abundance since I walked out the door last night to go shopping. I’m glad that I am now more aware of the world’s hungry and afflicted, but I was constantly struggling last night with thoughts of wishing I was back to being ignorant. It’s a good reminder that though the two cannot be reconciled, there are still things I can and should do.

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