There are seven people in my family, so it takes a lot of food to keep everyone feed and happy.In order to make that happen, we tend to spend enormous amounts of our time, energy, and money onfood or food
related activities. It seems to me that for my family we are either thinking about, talking about, shopping for, cooking or eating food just about every waking moment of the day.But even with all of that focus on food, it seems that we are never full. We constantly are looking for thenext opportunity to ﬁll our stomachs and ease the hunger pains. And that leaves two big questionsburning in my mind ...
If food is what consumes me and my family, then why am I so hungry? And what exactly is it that I am hungering for?
While that might be something of an exaggeration,it’s honestly not that far from the truth.
“Ma’am? ....Ma’am! .... Hey,Ma’am!Can you help me?”I turned around fromunpacking my shopping cart containing over
300 worth of groceries, and saw a boy, not much older than my oldest son, calling to me. Lanky, lean, and burnedfrom the summer sun, his youthful face wasspotted with acne. He looked like any other teenboy hanging out on a hot summer day, except forhis blue eyes which told a far di
erent tale, one of a boy who was much older than his years. As I looked at him running toward me, I guesssome sort of motherly instinct rose up for I gavehim a smile and said, “I don’t know if I can help you, but I’ll be glad to listen and see if I can.What’s going on?”He stuck out his hand to shake mine, as he said,“Thanks. I just need some money so my sister andI can catch the bus home. Do you have any change or maybe a couple of spare dollars ... justenough for two bus tickets. Can you help me?”I looked him in the eye, searching for signs of dishonesty. There was no sister to be seenanywhere about, and yet something told me thatthis child needed real help. I just wasn’t sure of what sort of help he really needed.“Well, I don’t ever carry much cash, but I probably have some change. Let me look and see what’s in my purse. Meanwhile, why don’t you tell me where yoursister is at and how it came to be that you are here without money for a bus ride home.”He looked me right in the eye for several seconds,then said, “My sister ... she’s in the store trying to getus some food. I got kicked out of the store for trying to steal. We came over here today to get food for ourfamily to eat. There’s nothing at the house. I guess we didn’t think much about the getting back homepart.”“Oh. I see. The biggest problem then is that you arehungry.”“Yes. Yes, ma’am, I am hungry. My family is hungry.”“I see. Do you have parents? Do they work?”“Yes. I got parents. They work temp jobs. Lately,there haven’t been any temp jobs. No jobs. Nomoney. No food.”I shu
e around in my purse, looking for change andsilently pleading with God for wisdom as well as a good idea for what to do in this situation.“I’m sorry. That’s got to be very hard. Listen, I have
1.07 in change, but that’s all I’ve got. However, Ihave a car full of groceries and I would be happy toshare some of what I have with you.”