Last Sunday, Abby and I were walking with several members of this parish as well as members of other area churches (and some from no church at all) in the “Crop Walk” which was to raise both awareness and funds to fight hunger. So as she was leading / pulling / dragging me up one hill after another, she posed a question: “Why can’t you humans feed yourselves and each other like you feed me? I don’t get it.”
I could have probably (maybe) provided her with all the ecological, economic, philosophical, social and political realities that create this issue. I understand that sometimes choices must be made among providing for shelter, clothing or food. I know such sad realities exist among so many of the world’s poorest. I don’t want to believe, but of course we know it is true, that too many in our own nation face the same kinds of choices for themselves and their children.
I explained to Abby that nature itself (with its unpredictable cruelty) can devastate an area and remove food sources. However, there are also the bad decisions we humans make upon our environment when we confuse “care for” our land as dominating and doing whatever we please simply because we can. Some of us are blessed because we have been given so much. Some of us for reasons beyond our control must make due with less and less.
Finally, I did console Abby with the fact that each year, when I work with the young teens who are preparing to receive Holy Confirmation, I impress upon them both how fortunate we are, as well as our responsibility as Christians, to care for those who have less than we have.
There are many wonderful organizations that exist simply to provide nourishment for the forgotten among us: Bread for the World; Food for the Poor; or Crop Walk – to merely name a few. The next time you stare at the filled plate in front of you, don’t feel “guilty” (a stupid emotional reaction that accomplishes nothing) but take the time to contribute either food or finances to those whose mission it is to feed the hungry. (At least this is what Abby thought I should tell you!) – Fr. Joe