"Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. 33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. 34 Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, 35 and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need." Acts 4:32-35
I had a dream last night or early this morning about vegetables. In this dream, we were in a town that was growing vegetables. By that, I mean, that instead of flowers, decorative plants, and trees. They were grown along the sides of roads and in patches where there was simply green space before. And the best part of all these vegetables was that anyone could simply help themselves when they needed it. And they did. I watched as people would harvest a melon, a few zucchini and a few beets and take them home to make dinner. No one sat and harvested everything and no one hoarded it all to themselves. Vegetables for everyone!
I woke up thinking about that place- a place where people were not going hungry, and everyone was willing to share with everyone else. There was no selfishness by anyone, and the city workers who were planting and tending these vegetables were overjoyed to do their job. AS I really think on this- what an incredibly simple idea that in reality, could work on so many levels. Oh, I don't think cities and communities will start planting kale and zucchini instead of flowers in their planters, but the simple idea of having real community gardens. There are community gardens all over the place, but normally they are of the type that people rent out plots of specific spaces and then can treat that small space as their own. Instead, these different kind of community gardens would simply be in neighborhoods of need, and people could help themselves as they needed them.
This dream comes on the heels of another investigation into salmonella-tainted meat AND the discovery of a resistant strain of salmonella- a superbug that won't respond to the usual medications used to treat it. While my dream was delightful and idyllic, the sobering reality is that we still need to be praying for one of the basic necessities for human life- food. This is a multi-purpose prayer this morning, because we clearly need to pray for the safety of our food supply. We need to pray that superbugs and germs will cease to exist and contaminate our food- and we need to pray that those who would wish to do harm by introducing these things into our food would be stopped before they could do so. Additionally though, we need to be praying for the people who have serious food needs. There are just so many- I was just reading in the paper about how every single food pantry in our area has reported an increase in use. This shouldn't be! In an affluent society, there should not be people struggling to put food on the table.
Additionally, talking about people who don't have enough to eat completely reminds me of the heartbreaking situation in Somalia. There is severe drought there, and the people are literally starving to death. As if that wasn't bad enough, when relief organizations try to deliver food to the shanty towns of starving people, terrorists threaten the relief workers, and the food is sent away undelivered. Completely heart wrenching. I would pray that these terrorists will have a change of heart- may their eyes be opened to the truth, and may they experience a love and compassion like never before! Their fellow countrymen are starving to death for what? To simply prove a point? I am praying that food will get to these people- and not just a little handful of this or that, but real food- substantial sustenance that will nourish and fill those bellies.
As I sit here writing this morning, my stomach is indeed empty. I woke up hungry, and actually, I think I went to bed feeling a little hungry. But the fact is, that I can get up at any time and walk to the kitchen and get myself something to eat. There are dozens of options available to me. For millions of people around the world, these hunger pains are normal, everyday, and they can go days without anything to put in their bellies.
People should not be hungry for food. Ever. This is a terrible injustice, and to be honest, I don't even know how to pray for it! I guess I would pray that people's eyes would be opened to the need around them- and that those who have would be moved to help those who have not. God knows the answers to the extreme hunger around the world. God certainly loves those people in Somalia, may the rest of the world see that love and be moved to do something about the great need there.