I thought about not going, for selfish reasons. Then I considered going, also for selfish reasons. I did not want to miss out on the fun. I knew it would get done without me and if I participated, I knew it would cost me.
FOMO won out.
I swept the hair off the back of my neck in a well-practiced movement to secure my tresses in an unattractive, white, cottony bonnet. The thin elastic band was precisely positioned under my ears and across the middle of my forehead. I’ve worn one of these a few times before, only accessorized with a surgical mask. They instructed us to remove our earrings. I left mine in. I figured twenty years in the operating room without losing a bauble in a patient, the food was safe.
WOBBLE BABY WOBBLE BABY WOBBLE
It was like a party, no it was a party, complete with dance music and a gong to declare milestones. I sat out on the Cha Cha Slide, but if they had played the Wobble I could not have resisted. It’s probably a good thing since my youngest daughter says I dance like a puppet. I don’t think she meant it as a compliment either.
DUO SHAO QUIN
I know very few phrases in Mandarin Chinese, but it was important to learn how to say,
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
It’s what every woman needs to know in a foreign country. We all have to ask ourselves the same question. Serving has a price. Serving costs either time, money or in my case, strength. I have been in energy conservation mode for over a year because of myasthenia gravis. Now whenever I consider any physical activity, I have to ask myself if it is worth the expense. A few months ago I had difficulty opening a water bottle. I am much better now and most of my struggles are fairly invisible as long as you don’t ask me to do much. So could I pack bags for an hour? I didn’t know, but I decided it was worth spending my strength to try.
AND I HELPED
The ladies of ABWU (Arkansas Women’s Blogger University) packed 10,000 meals for the hungry. Initially, I heat sealed the one pound meals then I packed the meals into boxes. Lifting boxes loaded with twenty-four meal packets required significant effort. Most of the women working by my side had no idea what a feat I accomplished or how physically limited I usually am. One moment, I almost cried, both because I was able to move my arms in a repetitive manner for the first time in over a year and also because these meals cost a quarter. Do you have any idea how much I spent on a single meal at a restaurant last week? I would be ashamed to tell you.
THE PACK SHACK
Our FEED THE FUNNEL party was sponsored (AKA paid for) by Wells Fargo Advisors. Each meal consists of ten grams of protein, vitamins, rice and powdered cheese. We filled, packed and boxed over ten thousand bags in less than an hour. And it was fun.
WHO TURNED UP THE GRAVITY?
I rejoiced with a high five, something else I haven’t been able to do in a long time. My superwoman status quickly disappeared that evening on the quarter mile walk to a nearby restaurant. Someone turned gravity up a notch and I had to sit on a bench and rest. The following morning, gravity was turned up about four notches and my arms felt fifty pounds heavier. Uh oh, next on my agenda was a seventy mile drive home on the curvy roads of Highway 7; a simple task I used to take for granted.
The meals will go to the hungry in Arkansas. Reportedly 35,000 pounds of food are distributed from food banks each month in my state. This is America, not Ethiopia. It is staggering to think I can go through my daily life and not see the need in my own community.
Fortunately, there are several organizations in my own community working to combat hunger. My church, as well as other churches in our town, stock pantries and clothes closets. Backpacks are filled and distributed to school kids to get them through the weekend. Thankfully, we also have Main Street Mission, The Manna House and The Russ Bus to name a few.
Matthew 5:16, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” ESV
What I did had a great price. I am still struggling with double vision and keeping my right eyelid open. Unfortunately, I realize it made little impact. Perhaps the greatest impact of the event was the awareness it created. And perhaps I can pass that awareness on to you, though awareness alone does nothing.
James 2:15-16, “Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?” NIV
We all want someone to do something about it. We complain about the government. We criticize the church when half the time we have no idea what services they actually provide. Personally, I am guilty of writing a check on World Hunger Sunday while expecting someone else to get their hands dirty. By the way, dirty hands are not a bad thing, that cheese powder was reminiscient of Mac-N-Cheese and though it was tempting, I resisted the urge to lick my fingers.
Matthew West sums it up well in his song, Do Something:
So I turned my eyes to Heaven and I thought, “God, why don’t you do something?”
Well, I just couldn’t bear the thought of people living in poverty, children sold into slavery. The thought disgusted me so I shook my fist at Heaven and said, “God, why don’t you do something?
He said, “I did. I created you.”
Do something. Do it for them, do it for yourself, do it for Jesus.
Matthew 25:40, “And the King will answer them, ‘I assure you; whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.'” HCSB
So how much did you spend on dinner last night? Will you do something?
Tag you’re it. After you have contributed to hunger in your corner of the world, tag someone else. We could possibly fix the problem with the money some of us spend on dinner on Saturday night.