Yes, I know I promised not to mention Community Hunger Day again until closer to October 22. But, I visited Central Dallas Ministries this morning and it is fresh on my mind and heart. I had not been to their offices in years. Jeremy Gregg was kind enough to take time from his day to show me around their main office, the food pantry, and the health services building which is just down the street. The first thing that I was struck with is how easy it is to push the daily suffering of others far from my mind as I live in my tidy, safe environment, shuttling my kids to preschool and ballet, attending church with friends on Sunday, flipping through Lands End catalogs pondering what Christmas gifts to buy this year, etc. If I don't make an effort to see it, to experience it, then it simply does not enter my thinking. That is scary to me. It bothers me how easily I push the hard cold realities of hunger, disease, and desperation out of my world. I saw mothers with babies just like my little one I was carrying around. My baby is well-fed. He sees a pediatrician regularly and receives all his shots. If my child is sick, I can call the doctor and get in the same day for a tiny co-pay. Can the same thing be said about their babies? I don't know why their life is so much more difficult than mine. Maybe because we were born into different situations. Maybe we made different choices. What I do know is:
1. God loves each of them the exact same as he loves me.
2. God calls me to minister to their needs. He asks me to feed, clothe, and help those that are in need without first determining if they deserve it. If there is some criteria to be met before being worthy of assistance, then darn it if we aren't all out of luck.
3. God desires more social justice in our land.
I'm tired of the it's their own fault mentality, or the I'm too busy excuses, or the simple apathy of ignoring others while focusing on self. I wish there was a way to change it overnight, and frankly it seems impossible to make even a dent in the problems facing the poor. But if I can give something that will help one person, even if it only makes a slight improvement in their life, then it is a beautiful offering to God.
Think about joining me in a small donation in honor of Community Hunger Day. Think about giving on Sunday when the director of CDM Larry James comes to speak at our church. Think about small differences you can make for someone who needs a little grace/mercy in their life.
It is on my mind today, and hopefully will be for some time. I don't want to forget the eyes of the baby boy I saw waiting with his mother for a few bags of much-needed food.