I was inspired by my young friend, Andrea, over at Abandoned for Life to post this story for Walk with Him Wednesday. Ann asked us to talk about the practice of preparing during this season. Andrea told how she served 5 kernals of corn to each of her sons today at lunch to show them how much the pilgrims had to eat during the trip to the the new world. This made me think of a time when my family was invited to a dinner given by college students who had just slept outside in the cold and fasted for 30 hours so they would get an idea of what the world’s poor were suffering. This World Vision program is done to bring awareness of world hunger to young people in a real way. This particular year the students put on a “dinner for the world” during their fast. They invited members of the college community to participate and asked us to RSVP. My whole family participated: my husband, myself, college-aged son, Samuel; middle-school-aged daughter, Joyce and 8-year-old daughter, Abby.
We arrived and were each given a “ticket”. On the ticket was a class distinction. You were either upper class, middle class or poor. Inside the banquet hall there was a fine table set for about 8 people. There was a picnic-type area for about 16 and a big cloth around which as many people as could squeeze together along the 4 edges of the square cloth could sit…on the floor of the hall. Abby and I got tickets for the picnic area. Russ, Joyce and Samuel got to sit on the floor near the big piece of cloth. As we sat down, I noticed our water was clear and served in clean glasses. The water at the poor table was dirty. Those at the first class table were being served, had ice in their drinks and full tableware, table decorations and other finery. Abby and I had paper plates and plastic ware. The rest of our family had nothing.
As the food was being served, Abby wasted no time taking enough out of what was being passed at our table to give to her father, brother and sister. Quicker than I could even think, she was down on the floor with the rest of her family putting food in front of them. I will never ever, as long as I live, forget that moment. She did not wait for instructions or explanation, she simply saw an injustice and was taking care of her family. I, on the other hand, was sitting at my designated middle-class picnic table still processing what was happening.
There was no way anyone could have prepared for what was going to happen that evening. None of us had earned our class designation nor knew what was going to take place. We weren’t even asked to do anything but attend a dinner. It was a microcosm of the world and the way we live in it. We who have enough, prepare grocery store lists, make meal plans, discuss what we want for dessert and how we are going to decorate the table. Those who don’t, don’t. The only difference is we don’t see each other. So many don’t prepare, not because they are careless or lazy, but because they simply have nothing to prepare. With 5 kernals of corn Andrea was teaching her sons, Stephen and Izayah, that there are those with very little and, as they are among those who have a lot, she was encouraging them to be thankful for the abundance that was theirs. I am preparing to do the same with my grandsons this Thanksgiving. If I were a betting grandma, though, I’d bet I’ll learn more from them. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Walking with Him Wednesday,