The day is here, or in my case almost over. Bloggers all over are posting on poverty and I stayed busy and almost let it slip by.Â I have been thinking today about spiritual poverty and how it goes hand in hand with physical and economic poverty.Â In a nation that has boasted that it is the richest nation in the world we have poverty and how can that be?Â How can so many have so much and some still go to bed hungry.
There is a story that I read about what heaven and hell are like.Â A man goes on a tour of heaven and hell.Â At his first stop, there is a group of people sitting around a pot.Â Wonderful smells are coming from the pot and the people have spoons that are long enough to reach the pot, but so long that when they try to maneuver them to their mouths, the spoons tip and the stew spills out before they can eat.Â They are all weeping and moaning from hunger.
The next stop the same wonderful smelling stew is cooking in the pot and people are sitting around the pot with the same long spoons but they are all happy and talking and no one is hungry.
The man is told that the first stop was hell – plenty to eat but everyone hungry.Â The second stop is heaven and the only difference is that the second group has learned to feed each other.
It is spiritual poverty that has our country in the economic state it is in.Â Everyone has plenty and big long spoons to eat it with, but we haven’t learned to feed each other.
We have been studying the minor prophets at church and in nearly every case of troubled times, a prophet would call for a time of fasting and praying.Â Our pastor suggested we as a congregation call a fast.Â They will have the church open at 6 in the morning so people can stop for prayer and worship before work, for a time at lunch, and again after work.Â The fast is not a requirement for anyone – you are invited to participate if you want and are medically able.Â You can just pray if you don’t feel led to fast.
There will be directed prayer as we pray for our country, our community, and our ministry as a congregation as well as quite worship time.
I thought it was a fitting way to look at blog action day – doing without food by choice as a reminder of those who go without so much and as a prayer for those who have so much.
If you know me then you know it will not hurt me to miss a meal.Â I don’t know if I will make it the whole way, but whatever hunger I feel will be a reminder to me of how blessed I am to have the choice and to know that while I might choose to go without food, I can if I so choose, head for the refrigerator at 2 A.M. and eat my fill and so can my children.
I know that I can make the house note this month and the electric bill will be paid so I will be able to keep posting on this computer.Â I have my choice of shoes and clothes to wear and they are all clean because I have a washer and dryer and water.
My hope and prayer for our nation is that we would be a people of heaven, that we would be filled by so much more than food, and that we would learn to feed each other and stop trying to fill ourselves with the junk of the world that leaves us with a yearning for something the world can’t give us.
If we want to cure poverty, we need to cure the spiritual poverty that has caused us to harden our hearts to the needs around us.Â The change that would happen externally is going to have to start internally in our hearts.