Saturday, December 4, 2010

Childhood Hunger Ends in Our Lifetime

Now that would be a nice headline, wouldn't it? And the thing that absolutely breaks my heart is that we could do it. We could end ALL hunger. The problem isn't food production, although in this age of global warming, we may face that crisis in the not-too-distant future. The problem comes in getting the right resources to the hungry--and in some nations, corrupt governments complicate that process.

We throw away so much food in this country, so much food. I've always admired the organizations who take that food and get that food to organizations that can either use it or distribute it to people who can use it. In my own house, we rarely throw out food. Even if something goes bad, we compost it.

But if we don't have time to compost or to work with social justice organizations who work to end hunger, we can still take simple steps to end hunger. I was powerfully reminded of that fact this week. I see my experience as a Holy Spirit nudge, God reminding me that we can make a difference, that the redemption of creation is underway.

On Thursday, I got to work to face my day of many meetings, most of them exhausting, capped off by having to teach a class. Just the thought of it exhausted me. As I went through the e-mail of various accounts, I noticed one from the ELCA that asked us to call our House representatives to ask them to vote yes on the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill. I thought, well, let me do one little thing today that might actually make a difference in this world.

So, I made the call, which took no time, and I spent a few minutes wishing I had been more eloquent--I stammered out my request that Kendrick Meek vote yes, and the staffer asked for my zip code, and we hung up. It must have taken all of 30 seconds. And then I trudged through my day.

Yesterday, I noticed an e-mail from the ELCA that said that the bill passed. How cool is that? Apparently, hundreds of us called, and thousands of us sent mail. And now, the bill is on its way to President Obama.

We hear so much about all the ways government fails us. We hear so much about how Washington is out of touch with the rest of the nation. Even those of us who participate in this government "of the people, by the people, for the people" sometimes grow weary, wondering if any of our actions matter.

And then comes a 24 hour period like the one I had this week, a time when I, along with so many others, act, and I see a positive result. Listen to God, who says, "Yes. Your actions matter. I'm counting on you to birth this new creation, where no hungry child goes unsatisfied."

What a wonderful Advent present. Thank you Holy Spirit!

No comments: