I was just sitting here counting the cash in my pocket - $52. I have more in my wallet that I’ll use before the week is out. As I counted, I had a flash back to not to many years ago when I had a little less, and that was all I had in the world.
I remember a day I felt very hungry and wanted badly to walk to the nearby store and get food. I counted $5. I sat there thinking it wasn’t enough to actually plan “meals” and so I would have to buy food that would fill me up and stretch my remaining dollars. I searched the couch cushions, dresser drawers, and under the washer and dryer. I managed to find another dollar in change and started walking to the store, still wondering what to buy. I walked around the store, carefully planning and doing the math in my head. The last thing I wanted to do was get to the checkout and have to put something back. I remember the thoughts I had that day - “What? Eggs are really that much now?” “I’m not walking past the fresh meats because I know I can’t afford them.” “What’s our tax on food again? 6%?”
I ended up walking home with a bag of rice and a bag of beans and hoping I had something left in the cupboard to season with. I got home before noon and decided not to cook anything before evening because it was such an upsetting thing to go to bed hungry, which I often did. I managed to stretch that rice and beans to almost a week, cooking my only days meal in the evenings. I slept a lot, to forget hunger and frustration. All my life I would see people going through hard times and whisper a prayer - “God, help them today.” Now I laid in bed at and prayed, “God, help those people, and let someone help me.” Very, VERY few people did. I can count them on one hand.
Those days made me a much better person and I am thankful. Hunger opened my eyes and my heart that had been shut by so many years of gluttony and indifference. Today I look for opportunities to help people. I don’t make much money by anyone’s estimation but I do what I can, and it makes me feel good. DO NOT fall into the trap most people do by thinking, “Ha! They need to help themselves!” That’s the world’s biggest, most unfair lie, propagated by the ignorant.
I’m not knocking organizations that run TV commercials and put on big fund raisers, but it doesn’t take all that to help someone who is hungry. Just look around you. They are there. It takes more courage than most people imagine to ask for help, so don’t expect them to come running to you. Seek them out!