Monday, August 11, 2008

Aware of Excess

...I did not demand
the food allowance
of the governor,
because the service
was too heavy
on this people.

Nehemiah 5:18c

Our meal was delicious. There had also been way too much! “Doggy bag” in hand, we walked around the corner. Out of our periphery we glimpsed a worn, disheveled woman crouched on the concrete. She never said a word, simply rocked back and forth.

“We need to give her our food,” said my daughter. Walking back I was greeted with a “Hello Lady.” Explaining that we had more food than we needed she grabbed the bag—“Thank you!” Later that evening she still rocked, the “doggy bag” empty.

Nehemiah goes to Jerusalem with good motives--helping put Jerusalem back together. He discovers, however, extreme opposition to his good work as well as his own people taking advantage of each other for their own gain. Food has become a premium. When Nehemiah is appointed governor he refuses to eat the food allotted to him because it comes to his table on the backs of people who have little to eat.

Today, history is repeating itself all around the world. The number of Individuals considered starving is approaching 1,000,000,000. Domestic food banks are finding that food donations that stock their shelves are diminishing even as the demand on their supplies increases.

We’re frightened for own future making us afraid to give. But what if we lived like Nehemiah. How much food would we be able to give if we cut out just one meal a week? I think you’ll be surprised both by how much you can give as well as how you’ll feel.

Jesus, thank you that
my needs are met.
Help me to be aware of any
excesses and seek out
ways to give away what
I don’t need.

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