Sunday, July 1, 2007

Hungering for righteousness sake

The picture that is the inspiration of the 40 Day Fast is still etched in my brain.

It haunted me so much that I had to know was taken by Kevin Carter, and it won him a Pulitzer Prize in 1994. Did he help her to the feeding station? No. He committed suicide not long after receiving the prize.

Wow. It still just shocks and amazes me that someone can turn and look away. But isn't that what I do every day? I live my happy little life, with a full belly. I try to teach my kids well and reach out to my neighbors, yet millions of people go to bed hungry every night.

It just breaks my heart. This is just not RIGHT! It definitely gives me a hunger for righteousness, justice, and equity in the world. It's ridiculous that we spend more on cosmetics than on foreign food aid. The question is, what can I do about it? I don't buy cosmetics (at least not very often!) and I do sponsor a compassion child. It's such a big problem--it's not like I can solve world hunger and poverty.

Today's sermon definitely met me where I was at--Tony talked about the parable of the feeding of the 5000 in Mark 6. But he didn't take the usual approach--he talked about how Jesus partnered with people to minister to others. He could have just put in a direct request to God for some manna and quail, but instead, he used his disciples. The model we saw Jesus using was:
1) Identify the need (v 35)
2) Recognize the call (v 37)
3) Assess the situation (v 38)
4) Plan (v 39-40)
5) Pray (v 41a)
6) Do something (v 41b)
7) Watch what God does (v 42-44)

So how can I apply this to world hunger? Well, in my assessment of the situation, it's hard for me to have a direct impact on world politics and finances. But I can:
a) Tell you about it, and encourage you to read the posts at the 40 Day Fast
b) Encourage you to sponsor a child through Compassion International or donate to the UN World Food Program (or just click on the bar on the side of the page to spend a company's money to feed hungry kids)
c) Find out more about the Micah Call and if you're interested, sign the petition
d) Adopt another Compassion Child.

I also have the desire to feel hunger--I don't know when the last time I was truly hungry was, maybe after my last colonoscopy :) So for the month of July, I'm joining the 40 day "fast". With kids and a busy family, it would be hard to do a full fast. Instead, I'm cutting out the six C's: cake, cookies, candy, cola, chocolate, chips and aiming to eat half of what I do now. (I actually AM hungry right now, since I've been doing this all day!) My goal isn't spiritual enlightenment about a particular issue, but to bring more discipline to my life, to try and even remotely align myself with the poor, and to continue to PRAY!

I'm also trying to seek what this might mean for the rest of my life. I don't think we're called to be food distributors in Africa, but maybe my research will switch towards cassava...if that's where God wants me to go, he'll open the doors, he has before and he will again :)

Lord, my heart breaks for starving people around the world. Give us the desire to care and a means to make a difference.


Kim said...

What a heart wrenching picture and blog. Thanks for the enlightenment...there is always more that we can do.

mexicanmasala said...

After our trip across the south this last time, I really feel God helped me see so many things I've never seen. (Poverty among this country's poor was very prevalent to me.) I think this is an awesome idea (the fast) and will probably implement it into my life as well. I already fast from dinners, so maybe I can think of a way to help this cause as well.

Thank you for the link! You're moving mountains with your words, whether you believe it or not.