Thursday, May 19, 2011

Beans and Rice

*This post was actually written back in 2008 for my personal blog, but I rediscovered it recently, and the truth presented is just as true today as it was in 2008. I hope you'll still take the time to read it. (As a frame of reference my children were both under 5 at the time this was written.)

Last night our church had a Third World Banquet. For $1/family, we could come and take part in this experience. I knew going in that the food was not going to be what we would normally eat, and I even let my kids eat some food before we went because I knew they probably wouldn't like whatever we were having. As some of you know, I am a fairly picky eater, so I was prepared to eat a few bites and then go hungry for a few hours. After all, it would only be for a few hours. A simulation is just that--not completely real. I mean, we have plenty of food at home, so a Third World Banquet serves as a good reminder, but it is of course not entirely realistic. This was my attitude going in: I've got this figured out. I know you're not really going to feed me much, and the water will probably not taste very good, but I can make it because it's only one meal.

What I wasn't prepared for was the fact that not everyone in the room would be given the same food. We were part of the group who received rice, beans, and dirty water (they added some tea to it to discolor it), but there were people in the room who got to eat at tables (we had no table in our area) and who got to eat meat, drink clean water, and basically enjoy a regular meal. One table even got dessert with their meal. And you know, this was the part that really struck me: We were all in the same room, all deserving of the same meal, but we didn't all get the same meal. This happens every day. Sweet children are starving while my two are given as much as they desire. I got to come home and eat a late meal last night while people elsewhere were dying of hunger. So though my experience last night was temporary, it did remind me of the reality going on all around, even here in America. And it compelled me to continue to do something about it--by sponsoring children with World Vision and Compassion; by telling others to do the same; by giving money to the church and other organizations; by clicking on Free Rice more often; by making a difference in whatever way the Lord leads.

Lord, help us to not take for granted all the blessings we've been given, and show us how to help those who are hungry, those who are hurting, those who need You.

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