Everyone Is Hungry For Something
Updated: May 19, 2020
When my Father left and my parents got divorced, I remember walking down the aisle at the grocery store that was the “black and white” aisle. What that meant is the no name brand food. It was sub par, mostly processed and very inexpensive. I can also remember my embarrassment and confusion as I asked my Mom, “why are we shopping in this aisle?” Her response pinned a hunger to me that never really went away. She said, “your Father took all of our money so we have to shop here now”. For the first time in my childhood I experienced a fear of not having enough money to buy food. It stuck with me. We never went hungry. We had less, but never nothing.
Can any of us remember a time that we were actually hungry? Like so hungry that we could only think of food? So hungry that we didn’t really focus well on anything. So hungry that we started to have tunnel vision?
For some reading this, there have been days that they didn’t eat. For some, there have been decisions to stay at school instead of be home with their families because they had no food at home but a meal provided by the school district. And for some others, they’ve never known hunger… like that…but there is something that we’ve ALL experienced a hunger for.
Recently I got to celebrate with my church family as we packed 100's of bags that went out to the homeless in our community. What this represents to me, is what we are ALL hungering for, HOPE.
Isaiah 58:10 says Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
THAT’s what delivering that food is. This is what it means to be a light in a dark place. This is what it looks like to be salt and light… all those christianese sayings that people hear.. this is what it looks like when you DO IT! We just provided hope. We just created the possibility of changing someones life for a day. Maybe more. Each bag is prayer. Each bag is a gift.
Poet Emily Dickenson wrote,
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without words
And never stops at all.
You see, each one of those bags is a physical representation of hope brought to a valley that has been hungering for it for TOO LONG NOW! Moreno Valley where I live and serve at the local church is ready for hope to fly again. And the local church is the hope fo the world. This is where we should be providing the greatest hope the world has ever known, JESUS.
Jesus can make a way. Jesus can build a system. Jesus can feed the poor. Jesus can make sure that no one goes hungry again. Jesus can show the community that He truly cares for them. JESUS is how.
And HOW does Jesus do all that? YOU!!! He engages the army. YOU. He invites you into the blessing of giving. YOU! The church, which is US, not this building, proven now more than ever. WE are His vessels of hope to the world. And you know what I like to say HOPE stands for: Helping Other People Everywhere. I didn't invent that.
Jesus made it REALLY simple in Mathew 22:37-39, which basically says (I’m paraphrasing like crazy here but) Love God, Love people. When we get tithes and offerings, then fill and deliver bags of food to the homeless, I see both in action!!
I see a church that is ready to be engaged. A church that is listening to God and loving who He is. A church that is ready to help. A church that is living out Matthew 22 big time. I’m proud of us for obeying the call.
So what’s next? Now what Tony? So we got some food? So what??
Don’t stop. Don’t let this be a one and done. If you see a need, provide HOPE. If you see a neighbor that needs something, help them. Feed them. Clothe them. BE THE LIGHT, that we talked about. Be the church. Everyone is hungering for hope. Your neighbors and friends, everyone. So give them some hope. They may not see a way that it’s possible but NOTHING is impossible with God. God will use you if you are available. Sometimes the only way a person can eat, is through a blessing you may never see. But you delivered a bag.
God Bless - Pastor T.