This post is part of my “stories” series. In this series, I share stories of how people live their lives in response to the gospel and as a demonstration of God’s love in order to teach us and to provide an example to provoke us to love and good works. (See “stories: A New Series” for more information about this series.)
Last month, on a Sunday, as we were getting ready to eat lunch together, one of our brothers walked in with a young man named Bill. Bill was riding his bicycle in the sleet, looking for food for himself and his sister. Bill told me that he was sixteen – I’m not sure how old his sister is. He told me that his mother was a drug addict and had left the house looking for drugs. Bill didn’t have any food for himself or his sister.
I talked to Bill for few minutes, then I fixed him some lunch – a meatball hoagie and some chips. It wasn’t much, but he was very appreciative. We asked if we could give him anything else, and he said, “No.” We asked him if we could give him a ride somewhere, and he said, “No.” We invited him to come have lunch with us anytime he wants to.
Since we’ve been meeting together as the church in the downtown area, I’ve been surprised at how many people we have run across who said they were hungry. We have always had enough food to share with them. Sometimes, the people will eat with us, and we are able to talk with them more – get to know them – find out about them and their situation – learn how we can serve them better. Sometimes, the people take the food we offer them and leave. For the most part, the people have always been appreciative.
I don’t know if Bill really needed food. I don’t know if his sister was really at home asleep. I don’t know if his mother was really a drug addict who had left her children alone in order to find drugs.
What do I know? I know that Bill (and others) told us that they were hungry. I know that we had food available. I know that we met their needs as we were able. I know that we offered to help them more.
Can we solve the world’s hunger problem? No. Can we help people who are hungry? Yes.