Wednesday, August 10, 2005
thoughts on World Hunger
What is it about today that is totally catching my attention about world hunger?
Is it the pictures on msn.com about the famine in Niger? Is it the fact that it was just a headline on msn about 4 hours ago and now it's gone, while the headilne "20 Essentials for Back to School" has been there all day as if it's the most important thing in the world? Right there along with, of course, "The Allure of the Bad Boy Biker"
Is it the fact that a majority of our lunch conversation with a prospective student and her mom today had to do with corrupt politicians and the need for ACTION rather than just AWARENESS in other countries?
Is it the fact that I just read the comments on Joolz's blog and someone posted something about www.one.org and my above concern for ACTION beyond AWARENESS?
I spent a few minutes today just looking at some websites for places like UNICEF and Compassion and Save the Children to see what each is about. I'm frustrated, because I want to help, but it's hard to know which place to go through. How can I make the most amount of big-picture difference in someone's life? in an entire country? with the little money I have to offer?
And then I look at American culture and how much we selfishly consume. I eat food like it's going out of style. I have two walk-in closets of my own that are full of clothes, half of which I don't even wear. I can't even begin to count the number of shoes I own.I have food in my refrigerator and cupboards that goes to waste b/c I don't eat it in time. I pay for cable, which I could easily live without. I have an awesome apartment that is probably above and beyond what most people live in. Others in our culture live in enormous homes that they can't even take care of without hired help. They drive cars that cost more money than I'll ever see in a matter of a year, or even 5 years probably for that matter. They throw money down the drain for even a tank of gas for their unnecessary Hummer H2 or the next level of some high-tech gadget that they "need." And we call ourselves "blessed?"
I don't think blessed is it. It's not that God chose to "bless" us w/ material possessions and chose not to bless those people. We have just become a selfish nation. We ignore the idea of wealth distribution...or, actually, we just distribute it quite unevenly. I'm not saying sell everything you own and send the money to Ethiopia...although, maybe that's not a bad idea. I John 3:17 is ringing pretty loudly in my ears right now: "If any one of you has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in you?"
I'm frustrated right now. I'm struggling to figure this out. But it's a good struggle. And what will I do? I have no idea. Probably write this and then tomorrow think nothing of it, as I've done in the past and as many of us do every day. It's so much easier to raise awareness and become aware ourselves and then choose to do nothing and go about our comfortable lives. I don't want to be careless. I don't want to be selfish. But how can we help?
Read Matthew 19:13-30 if you get a chance. It's another scripture ringing in my ears right now. Struggle with this. Wrestle with it.
Let's figure out something.