Monday, July 28, 2008

A Different Kind of Hunger

July 29, 2008 IOW

“Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat…We must find each other.” Mother Teresa

Not too many people can identify with what it feels like to go without anything to eat for long periods of time. I know I can’t. We may think we are starving once in awhile but truly we are not as bad off as we think we are. As Mother Teresa pointed out in her statement there is a greater hunger out there than going without food. It includes a category of people suffering from the lack of attention, love, and the type of support needed to fill that hunger.

If it was possible to measure the statistics we’d probably find out more people suffer from the hunger of the unwanted, unloved, uncared for or forgotten than those in need of physical food. It’s a hidden epidemic that affects many. Those affected are often people surrounded by the company of others yet still feel inside the emotions of being discarded, detested, unimportant, and neglected.

We get so wrapped up in our own needs that we forget the needs of others. As Mother Teresa put it the solution to this epidemic is finding each other making an effort to reach out to others in a way that fills that hunger.

Years ago when my brother and sisters and I had horses and other farm animals to feed and care for we were always making a gallant effort to postpone the task of caring for them in hopes of someone else beating us to it. It may have gotten us out of a trip to the barn a time or two but it definitely was the wrong kind of attitude to anchor in our hearts.

We can’t go through life expecting the preacher, deacons, elders, women’s group, missionary, or whoever else to be solely responsible to fill this type of hunger. It’s a duty that falls on all of us whether we want to take on the responsibility or not.

We are in no way responsible for other people’s happiness but there is a need in all of us to want to be wanted. All it takes is a kind word, a simple smile, a brief greeting that says “you’re important enough to stop and do this for.” On our way to Jesus we should be running into all sorts of people willing to give of themselves no matter how little to help others. People spiritually standing on a corner in life with a sign held up that say, “Feeling unloved, neglected, and invisible.”

At one point in my life I suffered from that very hunger as I held up a similar sign. A sign I was carrying in my heart to either hide behind or put out where someone would notice. It was during a time when life at home wasn’t the greatest. I was standing across the street from where the country fair was going on waiting for my daughter to come out with the church youth group. As I stood there I couldn’t help but notice the volumes of families coming and going from the fair. The more I watched them the more hungry I became for the kind of love and attention they seemed to be giving each other.

As I stood there the best I could do was remind myself to breathe in and out. Driving by where I stood was the preacher of our local church and his wife. Stopping to ask me how I was doing I told them I was just fine, a definite lie straight from Satan via my mouth. Taking me at my word he drove off. However, I noticed that he circled that very block where I stood about three or four times making sure I was indeed okay. Silent in words but big in action it gave me a piece of what I needed, filling a hunger that was being neglected. Neglected by me as well as others who didn’t even know the need was there as it slipped by undetected.

CLOSING THOUGHT: We may never capture all the hungry but we can make a difference if we would only try. Doing what it takes to set ourselves aside long enough to notice others and reach out where hunger is detected. As some travel with dog and cat food in their cars ready to feed what appear to be neglected animals on the road we should equip ourselves to do the same for our fellow man. Carrying in the trunk of our hearts the kind of unselfish products or qualities obtained from Jesus that says, “I care, as Jesus cares.” Together we can fight the hunger that Satan would just a soon see us die from both physically as well as spiritually.

Copyright 2008 Karen J. Gillett @ Pencil Marks and Recipes Publishing


Denise said...

Well said dear one, well said.

Irish Coffeehouse said...

Silent in words but big in action it gave me a piece of what I needed, filling a hunger that was being neglected.

When words fail us, our actions speak for us.

Great post! :)

Laurie Ann said...

Amen! What a great post! I loved that you wrote, "Doing what it takes to set ourselves aside long enough to notice others and reach out where hunger is detected." Oh yes.

MiPa said...

We sometimes do not know the impact little actions make on others. That pastor probably doesn't realize how much his driving around the block meant to you. Makes me wonder what "little" things I need to be doing that can speak into others' lives. Bless you for sharing.

Susan said...

Hey Karen,

As always I enjoy stopping by, this was a great post.

So sad, and so true.

Yes, there is a hunger out there, and we as the body of Christ need to step up to the plate to help feed those God places in our paths!!