Sunday, October 26, 2008

Feeding The Family

Today at church we had a couple people who had gone on mission trips recently come up to show pictures and tell stories. The majority of the narrative involved crippling poverty and a woeful lack of medical attention. The third speaker had some slides from a book called Hungry Planet that contains photos of families from all over the world with a weeks worth of groceries. They range from a few people eating hundreds of dollars worth in the richest countries (The US is actually closer to the middle, surprisingly.) on down to massive families who subsist on less than US$30 a month.

Then things got really interesting. There was a luncheon scheduled to celebrate our missionaries' return, but there was a twist on it. Every place setting had a card with a color on it that corresponded to a serving table at the front. It was broken down like this:

White Table: Bowl of rice, pitcher of water.
Yellow Table: Bowl of rice, pitcher of water, plate of meat (tiny serving).
Green Table: Bowl of rice, bowl of rice dish, several indescribable pot-luck type dishes that were heavy on the gravy and cream soup, something with tater tots on top, pasta salad, six kinds of dessert, cider, milk, coffee and doughnuts.

Our family's allotment, between the five of us, was two white tickets, two yellow tickets and one green ticket. We got a heaping plate from the green table and put it in front of the baby, the other two kids got rice and meat, and The Missus and I picked over what was left. (Actually, the Green Table stuff was a lot less healthy than what we usually eat and we kind of passed it over.)

Asking around the room we found that nearly every other family had pushed the best food down to the little ones. Our daughter had even shared some of hers with another child. It got the mind to turning. What if instead of just putting the good food in front of the short people to keep them from whining, we were giving up our own nutrition for their well being and trudging off to work with a growling stomach.

One of the other things we did this Sunday was to write a big check to the food closet. I'm not saying this to make us look like angels, The Missus was planning on doing it anyway this week. We spread the love around. Here we are, in the Land of Plenty, where nearly everyone at our church is in the top 3% of wealth in the world and there are people in the shadow of our own steeple without enough to eat. During a rough patch last winter my own family was depending on that food closet some of the time.

I don't like to order people around, what with all the pan handling that goes on for good causes these days, but you're in for it today. Next time you go shopping, buy an extra item and put it somewhere folks who need it can get it. I've needed it, I've gotten it, and it's the very hand of God.



Daniels5 said...

that was an awesome sermon wasn't it, mom told me about what she was gonna do!

Daniels5 said...

dude, where have all your readers gone?