Summary: There’s a hunger that is applauded in scripture.
November 2, 2002
Jesus said, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst…..”. There’s a lot of hungering and thirsting going on in this, our world.
In the world, 20,000 people die of hunger each day. In this same world, over 1 billion people live on under $1/day. No wonder, so many are hungry.
In the United States: Approximately four million low-income children under the age of 12 experience hunger each year and an additional 9.6 million children are at risk of hunger. Almost 100 billion pounds of safe, edible food – meat and poultry, fruit and vegetables, milk and eggs – are thrown away every year by retailers, restaurants, and farmers while twenty-five million Americans are hungry, including 12 million children. On average, an estimated 18 percent of the requests for emergency food assistance have gone unmet.
We’re talking about a lot of people, in the United States, who experience hunger on a regular basis. This is talking about real hunger, not simply those little hunger pangs we get between meals.
In Canada: The number of Canadian children experiencing poverty is unacceptably high. In the past decade the poverty rate for Canada’s children has risen to 1 in 5 nationally, while the strong social safety net developed over the past 50 years has been eroded, primarily through spending cuts aimed at deficit reduction. Single-parent families headed by women have the highest rate of poverty among all family types. Growing up in poverty too often means problems related to ill health, poor nutrition, unhealthy development and poor school readiness. Children at risk for hunger are most likely to reside with single mothers with very low incomes, usually derived from social assistance or welfare. They live in large urban areas and are demographically similar to other Canadian families except for overrepresentation of off-reserve Aboriginal households. The plight of on- and off-reserve First Nation families is well documented. Children in households that reported hunger suffered not only from their own ill health but also from their parent’s ill health and activity limitations in the home.
This is in our own country, a rich country with vast areas of land, great crops produced and incredible gardens and orchards!
Hunger is not something we like to think about or face very much. It doesn’t seem to us to be very good.
Consider this poem:
Can You Spare A Dime
by Jesse Garcia
Although most people can’t give their time,
All we are asking for is can you spare a dime.
To some people a dime is no big deal,
But to the homeless, it can mean our next meal.
Waking up during cold winter mornings or hot summer nights,
We are not wanted where there are bright shining lights.
We are harassed by the police and passers-by,
They know we need help and won’t meet us eye to eye.
Each and everyday we try to survive,
In a land where hunger and diseases thrive.
Most people label us as drunks,
But the reality is most of us live out of our trunks.
Rusted old cars and no where to go,
Although we have worked hard we have nothing to show.
Looking for food and no place to stay,
Most people don’t care if we faded away.
You treat us like criminals, yet we didn’t commit a crime,
All we are asking is can you spare a dime?
The term ‘hunger’ refers to desire, longing, focus, interest, and love. When someone is hungry, the focus on food and on satisfying that hunger is the main focus of the life. A lot of energy goes into finding something to satisfy the lack in the belly.
There’s a picture that was in the last issue of Look magazine a few years back. In it, there was a picture of a tall man whose arms and legs were reduced to sticks by hunger. He was no longer able to move on his hunger reduced frame, so he was on his hands and knees, and he’s looking aghast as another man, who is still able to walk, has grabbed his bag of flour from him, and he’s helpless to do anything about it.
Hunger can put people into a desperate strait. (I’ve discovered a small way that we can help those who are hungry- through Oxfam Canada.)
Actually, Jesus wasn’t talking about physical hunger, and it’s hard to find a lot of good in the amount of hunger there is in our world. However, there is a hunger that is good. While recognizing hunger that isn’t, there is hunger that is. In fact, we are all propelled by appetite, physically and spiritually. Hunger drives us- physically and in other ways, and we are all driven people. However, do you hunger for God? Are you hungry for God? Your hunger for God must be greater than your hunger for things of the world. Is it?