Famine is too big a word, it doesn’t suit my fancy. I hear it and see millions dying horrible deaths. I hear it, look in my well-stocked cupboards, and feel guilty. Guilt doesn’t suit me, so I push nasty “famine” away, keep it “out there”, ignore it and hope it will go away.
I know there are organizations and individuals slaving selflessly to feed the open-mouthed masses. I know our family has contributed, now and again…a check here, a check there…. I know there are souls who see and move in. Propelled by love or obligation, compassion or duty they keep showing up with hand-outs and techniques to nourish the hungry. The need is endless, it will never be met*, yet I know what matters isn’t the endlessness, but my heart before the need.
I look at a starving child’s face and feel like a spiritual infant. I’m horrified, yet feel helpless. I’m sickened, yet frozen. I wander a bit, shake it off, then keep going. I’m moved, but not enough. My lack of compassion, my own starved soul hardens a bit, ignores the call to love, care for the poor, “do unto others….”
Then it hits me, the reluctance to open my heart and feed spiritually ensures that another is never fed. My apathy kills. I’m complicit in perpetuating lack, suffering and death. My clogged cupboards and spare change indict me. I’m guilty. And, maybe this time, I’m going to admit that guilt is good. For with guilt I am urged to repent, to turn to God who feeds hearts and helps souls hunger to help others.
I turn, and as He heals, I feel my heart warming. Suddenly, I’m in a vision, or is it a dream…a dirty, dusty wind whips through me, a child whispers, a stench stops me. I gag and stumble and then I see. She stands before me, eyes vacant, hands outstretched. Like always, I’m horrified, yet feel helpless; I’m sickened, yet frozen. Then Jesus comes beside and takes her broken, brittle hand and puts it in my soft, supple one. She grabs His hand and I feel His other firm, strong hand slip into mine. I look into His face, His eyes smile and glimmer and then He winks and begins to move. Our circle begins to spin, with tears of joy and laughter we spin, for we have each other and with each other we’ll all be fed. Because of each other, we’ll all be fed.**
Feed my Starving Children: www.fmsc.org/
*the poor you will always have with you Mt 26:10a
**‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Jesus in Mt 25: 40
Topic chosen in conjunction with Blog Action Day 2011 (#bad11). Visit http://blogactionday.org/ to learn more or take part.