Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What's Up with Hunger?

Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me. – Matthew 5:34-35

I’ve never had to go hungry. I’ve chosen to go hungry, especially when the fare placed before me is something incredibly cheesy.

But I’ve never had to go hungry. Have you?

My task for today was to “hold a vision of plenty for all the world's hungry and be open to guidance as to how I can help alleviate some of that hunger.” My God, that’s a hard task.

It’s a hard task to accomplish because it’s an insurmountable task. It’s strange that we live in a world with enough food for everyone and yet thousands of people die of starvation every day. Preventable starvation. Let that thought sink in.

Preventable starvation.

This isn’t a place for facts, but if your having information withdrawal, search “Bread for the World” or “World Vision”, organizations that specify in alleviating starvation and the suffering it brings. A word of advice: keep a box of Kleenex next to you.

I suppose I should point out the absolute ridiculousness of taking a single day to think about world hunger. One day? Really? I can think about my favorite issue of Superman for an entire day. But world hunger? That’s a project for a lifetime.

I’m as complicit as anyone in the way I have used and abused food. No one needs 5 cookies in one sitting. No one needs more than 2 pieces of pizza. And no one ever needs to use food as a source of entertainment. I'm looking at you, Man vs. Food.

I don’t have much to say about the way I’ve combated world hunger. I’ve worked with World Vision and other relief organizations, but always at a distance. However, I do have something to say about someone.

A good friend named Brian Beckman works with an organization called Play For Hope. They work with street kids and orphans of the Rwandan genocide.

And right now, at least 45 of those street kids are being run out of the home they've had where they lived off of trash and huffed glue to forget their hunger. Brian’s doing everything in his power to raise enough money to provide food, water, clothing and shelter for these kids for a year.

Not all of us can go to Rwanda and work on the ground. But right from our homes we can support those who do. Do me a favor and check out this website and seek the guidance of the Spirit. Perhaps God might be calling you, like God has called me, to help the hungry by partnering with Play For Hope.

Look with pity, O heavenly Father, upon the people in this land who live with injustice, terror, disease, and death as their constant companions. Have mercy upon us. Help us to eliminate our cruelty to these our neighbors. Strengthen those who spend their lives establishing equal protection of the law and equal opportunities for all. And grant that every one of us may enjoy a fair portion of the riches of this land; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. - Prayer for the Oppressed, BCP 1979.

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