Friday, January 31, 2014
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? … Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? James 2:14-16 My husband and I live very frugally compared to the standards in which we were raised in the affluent USA. Yet one of the things we wrestle with is having enough food to eat, electricity (most of the time), and running water (most of the time!) while living and serving amidst brothers and sisters who do not.
This was especially poignant to us this past Thanksgiving, which we celebrated with other American missionaries here in southern Africa. We were blessed with a typical and abundant feast at a long table in our friends' lovely dining room. Our friends also happen to distribute food donations to communities that are in dire need. The irony did not escape us that in the very same dining room where we gorged, in the corner were high stacks of boxes prominently labeled "Feed My Starving Children." The events of the day continued to unfold in a similarly ironic manner.
Most of us live in rural areas and being in a "real" city with modern conveniences is quite a rare treat, we decided to splurge further and go see a movie in a "real" movie theater. One of the "Hunger Games" series was out, so off we excitedly rushed to a "real" mall. We all enjoyed this uncommon time of escape and relaxation, but ruefully talked afterward about how unsettled we all felt watching a movie, named "Hunger Games" with the major theme of "haves and have nots" in the middle of Sub-Saharan Africa.
Yet the truth that continues to become more and more crystal clear to us is that the real hunger is not for daily bread, but for Daily Bread. We pray that the hearts of those who "have" will be continue to be opened to the great and yawning need here for bread and for the Bread of Life.
Jesus said, "Feed my lambs." John 21:15