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To Hunger

March 19, 2011

In the early hours of dusk, as the sunlight began to fade, we gathered on the floor in the lightest room of our house. We had all decided this is how we would spend our Friday, 5 days ago when the idea seemed right, exciting even, when we were anticipating the goodness of sharing in the suffering… a taste of Lent no less. And now here we were, hungry without our pizza dinner and somewhat bored without our Friday night movie. When the sun finally goes down, do we too? Are we allowed flashlights? Candles?

We had voted to fast. Just one meal. And then we added electricity. After all, we were attempting to better understand Sylvie and her kids. No dinner and no electricity. One night. We could do this, couldn’t we?

Most of us could. The youngest was restless, rolling around the floor and climbing on our heads, and finally sent to her room only to conclude the night in a complete meltdown and winning a flashlight to comfort her to sleep. It seems a change in routine, or a break in some comforts, are too much for the small… she needed light, she needed food.

But the rest of us had a great conversation. Beyond the shared hunger and early night, we imagined going to Sylvie’s village and seeing it how God might see it and calling out all the ways we see how God had always been at work there, present, loving her. Though she might feel worthless, even god-forsaken, we looked for His handprint, his kiss.

In creation. In rain. In her! Aidan says, the image of God. Psalm 8:3 “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.”

In her work says Ella, He provides for her! We were given a mandate to subdue the earth, created with a calling to vocation. Work is a gift from God.

And in every act of justice and righteousness she has ever encountered in her village. God is just and loves justice.

The night was short. 5am came quickly when Ella rose with a stomach ache.

And oh how I ache to think of children who suffer from hunger for far longer periods of time. Our fast was but a brief glimpse of the reality of many. “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-” Isaiah 58:6.

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