I didn’t really want to do it.
I knew I would be challenged and quite frankly, I don’t want to be challenged right now.
I’m busy and not in the mood to have my boat rocked.
But I did it anyway. I signed up for the latest session in the ladies Bible study group that I attend.
The book that we’re reading is by Jen Hatmaker “The 7 Experiment, Staging Your Own Mutiny Against Excess“. Sounds like a giggle, doesn’t it?
We’ve just begun the study and the first area of excess we are dealing with is food. Not just how much we eat but how completely preoccupied and absorbed we are with what we consume.
We talk about it, think about it, argue about it.
We pin and post and share pictures and recipes of delicious and beautiful meals. We endlessly discuss where to eat and when to eat. We debate the merits of vegan, organic, gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian…
I think you get the picture.
We are a culture obsessed with feeding our appetites.
I personally have used the word ‘starving’ on more than one occasion. Less than an hour ago, I complained that I had the ‘munchies’ because I’m restricting myself this week and it’s making me uncomfortable (insert sad face here). As I sit here, my stomach is growling.
I think I’m hungry.
Then I saw this, posted by a friend on Facebook.
I really don’t know what to say. It’s not like this is the first time I’ve heard that people are hungry. I see it on the news all the time but today, the thought of someone being so weak from thirst and hunger that they literally lay down to die just smacks me in the face.
I have to do something.
So, I will give and I will pray. Even as I type this it sounds so… well, so not enough.
I know it’s not enough. But, I honestly don’t know what else to do.
I can’t claim ignorance. Even at my poorest, I couldn’t say I have nothing left to give.
This is the Scripture that I can’t escape.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
Matthew 25:35-36 (NIV)
Let’s be clear here. Jesus did NOT say that it would be kind of nice if we fed the hungry, threw them some scraps, tossed them our used clothing. He said that when we feed the hungry and clothe the poor we are feeding and clothing the Son of God. When we care for ‘the least of these’, we are caring for the King of Kings. That’s a sobering thought.
The second part of this passage is evening more sobering. Basically, if we don’t give a damn, we are damned. Jesus wasn’t mincing words here. He was laying it on thick.
I can’t ignore it any more. I don’t know what else I can do, but I’m not doing nothing.
If you are like me and want to start doing your part for the hungry and the homeless, consider donating to Crossroads Relief & Development, Samaritan’s Purse or your local food bank. Let’s do our part to end hunger!