Blessed by God

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You know that maybe you’re aging when CBS Sunday Morning is your favorite TV show. 

This morning they had a segment about hunger in the US.  There is a photo from earlier this year with thousands of cars in San Antonio in line waiting for a food distribution center to open.  THOUSANDS.  Thousands of hungry people right here in the US.

Last Tuesday I spent several hours at the YMCA in Garner, North Carolina, helping to distribute boxes of food to people in my community.  They drove up and volunteers loaded a small turkey, hamburger meat, a large casserole and a box of fresh produce into their trunk.

My job that evening was greeter.  As each car drove up, I welcomed them, determined how many folks were in their family and logged the amount of food they would take. 

I arrived at 4:30 PM, the distribution was slated to start at 5.  There were about 30 cars already in line.  For two hours I did not stop – greeting family after family after family.

A few of the folks I met were a bit reticent, seemingly fearful I would ask a ton of questions – maybe auditing who they were picking up for or logging their address.  Some seemed a bit embarrassed to be there.  Understandable.  I might feel the same way if in that position.

The great thing was that we had no questions for them – they just told us how many people they were feeding, and we loaded. 

I worked really hard to put folks at ease asking if they had a good day or if they were feeling well.  I thanked them for stopping by the Y as if they could have chosen to pick free food up from a competitor.

What I noticed is that many of these folks who are concerned about where their next meal might come from seemed joyful.  Not all, but many.  I could see it in their eyes, the way they lit up at my questions or expressed massive gratitude for our work.  A genuine smile, one you can see in the eyes; a belly laugh; or happy kids singing in the backseat. 

When responding to my question, “How are you doing today?” one lady responded, “I am blessed by God.”  She then added, “I just have to keep reminding myself.”

A friend shared with me that they were lamenting about a problem in their life when another friend suggested:  You should go volunteer, help someone else.  (i.e. – take the focus off yourself!)

It is surprising to me that I don’t always readily see how blessed I am by God.  Last week was certainly a good reminder for me.

Sunday Post 30: Shame on us!

Posted by Danny

Tonight I made bar-b-que chicken in the crock pot with corn on the cob, salad, bread and cowboy beans (they’re really, really good).  I was celebrating the return of the two oldest who have been at Camp Seafarer – one for two weeks, the other for four. 

When dinner was over, I had a huge Tupperware container of the poultry left and threw several cobs in the trash.  The leftover bread will sit in a bag on the counter until I toss it later in the week.

Last Tuesday, Michelle and I ate at El Rodeo Mexican restaurant.  We ate two baskets of chips and salsa before our meal arrived.  I had to lay down when I got home because it was uncomfortable for me to bend.

On our way back from camp today, we stopped at Chic Fil A, my favorite fast food restaurant.  Stephanie and Michelle both ordered six piece nugget kids’ meals.  They each ate three, six were left (don’t worry, I took care of them but I’m still struggling to bend).

I’ve been thinking a lot about food since last Wednesday night when I tuned in to Anderson Cooper.  He was in Somalia and shared about the famine there.  Did you know –

*29,000 kids have died from starvation since this famine began

*Mothers are taking their children and walking to refugee camps in the hopes that they will find food.  Some walk for two weeks to get to the camp which is overrun.  Yes, they walk 14 or 15 days in blistering heat and when they get there, many are turned away.  They simply can’t handle the volume of people who need assistance. 

*One mother arrived at camp and took her baby out of the pouch on her back.  The baby had died and the mother didn’t even realize it.

What I can’t understand is how I can waste food, day in and day out, while people who live on the same planet as I do starve.  They starve to death.

I pray for them daily and I gave $50.00 to CARE – pathetic.  Shame on me!  Shame on us!  We’re the richest, smartest nation on this earth and we can’t figure out how to take the money that we waste on food and get it over to people who have absolutely nothing to eat?  Come on – let’s do more.

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