Saturday, February 21, 2009

Feeding the Hungry

It used to be easy to feed the hungry. In America, hungry people were nameless and faceless. They were somewhere else—certainly not in my neighborhood. I could feed them by dropping a can or two into a wooden box in the front hallway of the church. I could even feed the nameless, faceless hungry people in other countries with just the flourish of my signature at the bottom of a check.

Now it’s not easy. Now the hungry people are the faces that I see when I answer the knocks at my door. Now they are the names on my lists of who has come for help and who has been fed. Now they are hollow eyes and apologetic smiles. Now they are babies on the backs of their mothers, or toddlers hanging onto their mother’s skirts. And it’s not easy to feed them.

I confess that sometimes I want to close the door and cover my ears so I don’t hear the knocks, and I want to pretend that there are no hungry people at my door. And sometimes a voice in my head wants to scream, “Go away! I can’t feed every hungry person in Africa!” And when I hear those thoughts, I hear another voice, the voice of Jesus in Matthew 25 as he says, “I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat.”

So I open the door, and I try to see Jesus on each face. I feed the hungry. But it’s not easy any more.

One of the women who comes for food. She is in her seventies and is raising a houseful of orphaned grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

1 comment:

Mary Ann Melton said...

I know it is hard knowing that so many of these people are truly needy, truly hungry and that your resources for feeding them are limited. But Jesus fed the multitudes with so few resources, I know that He will give you wisdom and resources to feed and nourish these people both with the physical needs and more importantly their spiritual needs!

Mary Ann