Sparked by Words

More than Enough

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We came together last night, a community of Christians, Moslems, and Jews, united by the cries of hunger we heard from around the world. God has not been able to get us to come together in peace, but the rumbles of hungry stomachs did. For a few hours several hundred of us from three congregations gathered around tables laden with soy protein, vitamin packets, dried vegetables, and rice. We packed 12,000 simple but nutritious meals to be sent to those who cannot feed themselves. We don’t know exactly where they’re going – to underserved areas of the United States, or to India, Africa, South America, Mexico, or someplace we never considered. There are so many communities of hungry people. There are so many individuals who do not have sufficient food.

Twelve thousand people will soon eat, nothing fancy but just enough to keep them from starving. Maybe long enough for someone to figure out a long term solution to end hunger, to enroll these hungry people in programs that will resolve their tenuous situations forever. Most likely these meals will stave off hunger for one day but the pangs will be back too soon. The cries of children, the moans of old people, the pleas of those who cannot fill their family’s larder will return quickly.

If you saw us last evening, you saw folks of all ages, in yarmulkes, hijab, or bareheaded, with stars or crosses around necks or merely the collars of ordinary clothing, standing shoulder to shoulder in one room. We were Republicans, Democrats, Independents, unaffiliated, and those too disgusted with the system to take part in any way other than to spit at the idea of elections. Children came with their parents, seniors carpooled, and more than one family showed up with at least three generations of folks who participated. We talked about how good it felt to feed the hungry, to know that we’ve turned our words of altruism into action that someone else will feel in their bellies. Our good fortune will be someone else’s well being.

After the bags had been packed, counted, and boxed, we gathered in the sanctuary and participated in a multi-faith service. Choirs sang, uplifting our spirits with possibility the way that only voices united in song can imbue. Lay people spoke eloquent words from Maya Angelou, Gandhi, and Albert Einstein. Clergy of all three faiths described the relationship with God that commands all of us to come together as community and care for each other, to care for strangers, to feed the hungry. We heard passages from Quran, Torah, and the Old and New Testaments, words that praised God in God’s many names, speeches that noted how much we are connected. We celebrated how alike we are, how similar our prayers, our texts, our desire to see everyone cared for.

Terrorists, anarchists, agitators did not attend. We did not leave them out so much as they are uninterested in the idea of community gathered without the grasp for power and control. They left themselves out. There was no security present that evening. It was unnecessary.

Luxury is a word none of would use to describe ourselves and yet we all live in luxury. We have enough in so many ways, more than enough, a plethora of riches that are embarrassing to list. The list would be too long, in any case. All of us went home last evening to full pantries, to overloaded refrigerators, to tables waiting to be laden with a bounty of food that will make us ache well into the night of Thanksgiving. No matter our dietary proscriptions, today we will all overeat.

Black Friday beckons for many who will rush to shop on Friday and all weekend, stocking up on toys and devices, clothing and tools, chocolates and wine. The lists of those to whom we choose to bestow our gifts are long and we are a generous society.

I suggest that you buy one gift less. That you shop one hour less. That you take out your credit card one time less. That instead, you write one check and send it to any organization that feeds the hungry. Lots of worthy non-profits do good work. Some attend to local programs, others to countries overseas. Choose one and send them something. It needn’t be a huge check, because if someone is hungry, a small donation will let them eat. Send a hundred dollars, and if you can’t afford that much, send ten, and if that is too much, send a dollar. A dollar will buy a carton of milk, an apple, a yogurt cup. Imagine – all that goodness for one dollar.

It is painful to go to sleep on Thanksgiving night and know that all over the world, children will lay down with tummies that hurt. One dollar cannot feed every child. Your gift for one dollar will not loosen the purse strings of the miserly rich. It will not make the skies rain or the crops grow larger. But that one dollar will feed someone tonight, or tomorrow. And it will be more than enough.

It doesn’t matter how you pray, in what language, with what book, or even if not at all, but be truly thankful for all that you have. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, and may you be blessed with an abundance of friends, family, and good fortune, enough to enjoy, enough to share, enough to pay it forward in memory of those who once gave to you…

more than enough.

 

Image courtesy Homesteadgardens.com, Pixabay.com, public images

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Comments on: "More than Enough" (28)

  1. Wonderful post, Shari. You embody the true meaning of Thanksgiving. I wish I’d joined you…

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was pretty amazing, Jacqui, though I had no idea it would be such a huge event. I didn’t even realize that we’d be packing food to stave off starvation for those in critical need – thought it would be box lunches for those who are homeless. That would have been a good cause as well.
      Enjoy the day with your family – I know this one is really special for you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Shari, you fill my heart with peace. Knowing people like you are here with me brings me contentment, if only for a fleeting moment. I will break bread with you one day, my friend. I will join you for an event like this one anytime. Happy Thanksgiving. You are a gift. ♡

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Audrey. You just made me smile. Breaking bread – such a lovely tradition. Let me know if you come to California, we’ll do that for sure. I am making challah tomorrow with my two older grandchildren and my daughter-in-law. We are all of us gifts – we just have to learn to share better.
      But thank you for the sweet words.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for reminding me to remember during the crush and rush of this holiday season to care about those outside my circle of family and friends. I will indeed write that check.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Kate, you made my day! I thank you for doing exactly as I’d hoped readers would. Thank you for your donation – you will make someone feel well as they go to bed with a full belly. Enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Beautifully and thoughtfully written. Every day there is need. It is up to us that feel the calling, the empathy to change this world. Weapons and angry words will never bring peace. Holding out our hand and using it to lift up the less fortunate will, and can.
    There will be days that we cannot offer money, but a smile, a kind word, can begin building a network of bridges that unite us all.
    Thank you for gifting the world, Sharon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for this wonderful comment. You are absolutely right – the gifts of friendship and empathy are as tangible as anything else.
      It isn’t always about money but making the connection to let someone know you care about them.

      Allow me please to apologize – I haven’t had a working computer for 2 weeks so could not communicate with anyone – imagine that, how useless pen and paper are in the modern world.

      I hope you enjoy wonderful holidays with your friends and family.

      Liked by 2 people

      • So good to hear from you! So sorry about the computer headache. But I so understand. Just yesterday I was thinking, “I wish I would lock myself in the closet and get my Christmas cards written.” I am so distracted at this time of year. And to think, I thought I had a jump on things. Who was I kidding?

        One year my computer fizzled out on me. The kids thought life as they knew it had ended. But hubby and I held tight. We planned a new computer for their big Christmas gift. Weeks went by, we were ready to strangle each other. Hubby would look at me; I’d look at him. Oh the resilience! FINALLY, Santa arrived! Peace was restored.

        Have a very Merry Christmas! We had Christmas come early. News from two of my sister arrived all within two weeks of each other. They will be blessed with their first great- grandchildren! AND … My precious son (in-law), after many weeks of testing, both physical and mental, FBI background checks and miscellaneous other ‘trials by fire’ was notified that he has been accepted into the California State Patrol. He leaves for 27 weeks of training, that begins tomorrow. We will miss not having them home, this year, but we’ll fly out to California for his graduation from the Academy.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m so glad to hear your good news, and feel honored that you shared this with me. Great-grands – that’s amazing. Please tell you sisters I send my congratulations to them and the families about to be so blessed. Best to your son-in-law as well. Had no idea such a rigorous background exam goes into joining the CA State Patrol. The older I get, the less I care about getting gifts, the more I treasure time spent with family and friends. So glad to hear from you. Now that my computer is working again, I’m looking forward to visiting your site again. Be well.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you, Sharon. You be well, too, my friend. Looking forward to reading more of your work. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Welcome!! Sharon.u know dt disturbed guys r send by us to eximine our feelings n attituds for them.if we believe in god; we should believe faithfully in humanity.do u agree or not, plz reply.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sorry.i have here some fault in writing about of dt distrubed guys r send to us by god to exmine our feelings n thinking for humanity.coz they r same part of God as we r.if we believe n faith in God ; we should keep attention to His all creatures.in my first reply,i want to say these things.m i right or not.

    Liked by 1 person

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