Dr. Gregory Knox Jones tells about an experience he had several years ago when he went to Haiti. He visited an impoverished village where the children had bloated stomachs and little more to eat than sugar cane. While he was there, a small Haitian man who was missing most of his teeth, came up to him and said: “I heard that in America you have diet dog food. That’s not true, is it?”
This poor man could not imagine that while his children were slowly starving, people in our country were feeding their pets diet food because they were so overweight. His question left Jones speechless. He could not tell the man that it was true. He said the man’s words were like a knife piercing him and producing deep feelings of guilt because he knew that he should do more to help people who are hungry. (Borrowed from an online sermon)
As I walk the journey that is Lent, I reflect on where I was last year. I was beginning a personal journey of living on the very meals Stop Hunger Now provides for the hungry around the world — some even in Haiti. I lost 43 pounds on that journey. The generosity of family, friends, church members, and community folks helped raise enough money to provide 50,000 meals.
And yet, here I am at the same launching point and I am kind of lost. I am preparing to travel next month to Nicaragua to see first hand how and to whom these meals are being provided. I will see the kind of circumstance that makes a child needy enough to be hungry. And hungry enough to look forward a meal of rice from Stop Hunger Now.
I wonder, did I really learn anything from this experience? Did my efforts over the last year make a difference? We did package 50,000 meals that have been shipped to places in need. We did get coverage on the local radio, TV news, newspapers and such. So I guess we did some good.
I guess the thing that gnaws at me the most is the reality that I am over fed, over weight, and so many are under weight and under fed. And I still feel helpless to make any lasting changes. I now that every quarter makes a difference. I know that every package of food changes lives. I know that this should not be the way things are in our world. And I ask why…..
And the answers are that — it is this way because we choose to let it be this way. As I walk my journey through Lent this year, I am going to seek to be a better steward of my resources. I am going to seek to eat healthier, to eat less AND to direct the excess financial resources I have used to feed my body to feed those that are hungry. I may not be able to solve the world’s hunger issues by my self, but I still choose to do what I can with what I have.
Will you join me?
Until the next time….The Hog Father,