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Friday, November 5, 2010

Feed Without Measure

It is November outside among the trees, and the trees have pushed off their leaves like young expected to fly.  And though they flutter and twist in the wind, they fall into huge, dead piles.  Unfortunate children!
I have a chunk of dark rye leftover from the last food bank visit. I put it outside for the squirrel.  Monday when I turned my back the squirrel was opening the package of tortillas.  I waged my finger at him and he moved back 3 feet and stood up. I looked at him and gave him two tortillas.  I have been feeding him since.  Fortunate child!
I went to the food bank, waiting in a line for it to open.  It was a diverse line, black white, Asian, Hispanic.  Immigrant and non-immigrant. My thoughts drift back to my first encounter with hunger in America.  I was almost 13.  I had been watching TV news and reading the newspaper, paying attention to the civil rights movement.  When I saw the civil rights demonstrators mistreated on television-that was the first time I cried for anyone but myself.  Black people I learned, were not only discriminated against, but they were poor.  I learned from the nuns that we should love the poor.
And then the poor were there.  The children that lived up the street--one boy my age, Catholic, but in public school--and his younger siblings.  Their father, I think, drank up the paycheck.  He didn't earn enough for several children and his wife had left.  The kids visited me because they were hungry and I feed them. They were all thin and there house had little in it.  I knew that hunger was real.
As I waited in the line I sang to myself, "The Lord hears the cry of the poor, blessed be the poor."   In the late afternoon I went to the evening mass.  I rejoiced when I went to the temple of the Lord to pray.  I rejoiced because here there was no judgement.  My poverty was not the lack of money, or a job, but that I stood in need of the love of God. I stood in the communion line and I ate the body of Christ and drank his bread and received without measure his love.  I was satisfied and without hunger and wished for a world were we feed each other without measure or reservation.  Thank you God, I am a fortunate child!

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