It doesn't seem a fitting picture, does it?
But I used this conglomerate-photo in a Spanish project last year, so it was on hand.
And these are some of the things I'm most thankful for.
Me climbing a mountain: my health and strength and enjoyment of nature.
One of our high desert home dinners: blackened salmon tacos. So very thankful for food.
Grandma Me with 2-hour-old Liya and proud big brother: I am so blessed.
(And every baby should be adored and well-fed.)
I cried in class today. I couldn’t help it, and I was the only one, too. We were watching a film called Hungry for Profit, made in 1985, about agri-business. We saw images of the rich of Brazil—their cars, their yachts, their leisure activities—in the cities contrasted with Brazilian babies in hospital beds, some crying, some too weak to cry, all of them malnourished to the point of death. I so badly wanted to be there so that I could, in turn, pick up each baby and let them feel human warmth, touch, love. And do that all day every day. (And I would cry my eyes out all day every day.)
A doctor in the film picked up a baby, very machine-like (I suppose one might have to develop a thick skin? Or maybe she was simply trying to be business-like in front of the camera.) and began to describe the baby’s condition. The skin was hanging on the arms. The face was gaunt, but the baby was precious. And, we were told, the baby died four days later. My son was a newborn baby that year. I watched mothers hold starving babies they couldn’t feed, and my heart hurt. I tried so hard to hold back the tears, but I couldn’t. Silently, they rolled down my contorted face. My young student friends looked at me warmly. Typing this makes me cry again.
More than 20,000 children around the world died today of hunger-related causes. And almost a billion people are hungry, some of them in my community. Whatever you believe about the politics of movies like Hungry for Profit or social justice or anything else, hunger is our problem.
The children are on my mind. If I lived across the street from the hospital where those babies were dying and I didn’t respond or change my behavior in whatever way I could, if I didn’t do what was in my power to do, it would be criminal and shameful. But that is essentially what I am doing as I sit here day after day, too much focus on my own little life, and studying and snacking and eating too much and debating whether or not I should bake cookies—the deciding factor being whether or not I need to eat them. I am not condemning eating and making home and having fun, but I am praying about what God wants from me. No excuses. No explanations.
I’m not trying to pluck at your heartstrings or make you feel guilty, either. Not at all. You know what God has put on your heart. Do that thing. I’m just sharing my own heart today. While I eat my Thanksgiving feast this week, I will rejoice and thank the Lord. I will enjoy my family and count my many blessings! But, inside, I will also be thinking about this. And praying about what I can do now, while I am where I am.
Happy, blessed Thanksgiving, friends!
I'm thankful for each of you who read here.