Our lives seem so normal to us– going to the movies, drinking beer during football games, buying some new fall clothes. Cozy beds and running water. But from the perspective of most people in the world we live in somewhat unimaginable opulence. We “normal” people can always point to lots of people who are really big spenders, and justify our own lifestyle. There are the super-rich who drive the fanciest cars, own jets, and spend $20,000 on a purse. On a thing to put more things in. We can look at those people and feel good about ourselves. Or even the less rich but who still drive fancy, newer cars, buy lots of things, have amazing vacations. Compared to them, we are AWESOME.
Yesterday I checked up on Katie’s blog– she’s maybe 22 years old, dropped out of college to live in Uganda with orphans. She talks about one girl who recently died of starvation. The story is worth reading. Sometimes we hear statistics of how many children are dying because they don’t have food and water, and it seems (because it is) so distant. most of us deep down think: not my problem.
I guess polite people shouldn’t be talking about this thing. Kind of like the meat thing. But I believe that through the blood of Jesus these starving people are our kin. They are our babies. Our moms and dads. Our grandmas. What if we normal, middle class folks (yes, us with the transmission about to blow and kind of needing a new computer and some new shoes and wearing a hand-me down ugly coat from like 10 years ago) got more serious about getting some food to people who need it.
I don’t know what they best way to do this is. Maybe the Heifer project. Or this organization that rehabilitates malnourished children while counseling their parents in nutrition and has them work in a community garden. I know that just throwing bags of rice off a plane is not going to solve any problems, but there are organizations that are working with people on specific problems in specific places.
I really need to go to work, so I have to stop, but what if we ate beans and rice or ramen noodles or other meals that cost under $2/person most nights of the week? What if we fasted one day each week? Not to save money so we can buy some anthropologie or pottery barn or a cool car but so that we can save every penny and send it to people who are dying right now because they don’t have any food at all to eat. what if we examine every area of our life (going to the movies, expensive hair cuts/dyes, hobbies, etc) and ask, “Is it worth having while babies are dying right now? Is this thing/pleasure so necessary to me that I would rather spend my money on it rather than giving it to someone who will die if he or she doesn’t get some food?” We don’t think this way, and it’s not polite to suggest that we do, but, well, what if we did? Just a thought.