When we were first married, my husband and I used to watch Sienfeld reruns. There is a funny episode about George’s dad and ‘stopping short.’
Last night I stopped short, but not in the same context as the Sienfeld episode. After our date night, we popped into a Latin supermarket that was next to the Mexican place we’d eaten at. It was a fun time where my husband raided the bakery, we got real Cokes from glass bottles and some other treats I grew up eating.
I stopped short when I saw a bag of black beans in a little hand-tied baggie. I’d have taken a picture, but I just stared at it instead.
Years ago, over 20 years ago now, my family and other church members bagged pound after pound of black beans, rice, and other commodities for families that were starving.
Panama was in a terrible economic situation in 1988-89 and the president then (Noriega) seemed to care little for his own people. Through the SBC Hunger Relief Fund (which I think is now Global Response), hundreds of people in our community in the interior of Panama were fed.
My parents used to come back from food deliveries with countless stories of how people had used their last cup of rice, or were wondering where they would find food to feed their children that day. One lady was even showering (a piece of tin roof outside, curled in a large circle w a spout overhead) and when my parents called out to her, soap went flying and she praised the Lord, having just prayed that morning for the days’ food.
Rice, beans, powdered milk for those with infants, oil, and other basic necessities were given, and they were lifelines to a people that found food scarce and access to the little money they had, impossible. Banks had minimal funds to have withdrawn, much like the Depression here in the US.
I stared at that little bag last night, wondering what kind of perspective my kids would be raised with. There are no starving kids in their midst. In fact, we live in a community where people are more than comfortable.
I’ve thought about that little bag of black beans for a day now, and pray He doesn’t allow me to lose the perspective I was raised with. I also pray for opportunities for my family to minister to those in need. There is an abundance of need in this great nation too. Hurricane Katrina’s 5th anniversary is this weekend. There is still a world of hurt and healing there, and in my own city as well.
‘Give me Your eyes, Lord give me your eyes….give me your eyes…’ Brandon Heath