As I enter hour 5 of the 30 hour famine, I look around me at the cars and restaurants. I see how blessed we are and how selfish I am. Earlier I tweeted about it and mentioned my prayer that this could touch the hearts of our youth and make them think. This is my prayer, but in my pharasitical heart I know part of me is bragging about this. I am showing my commitment to the hungry by standing with them for a few hours. When I consciously realize this, I am convicted and guilt stricken. I know I will see the faces of hunger and need tomorrow when we serve at the soup kitchen. I see my life is so far from theirs. I want to help. I want to change things for them. I feel so helpless when meeting the size of this issue. I feel so selfish and worthless. Then from deep inside, I hear a voice that sounds very much like my husband's, "We sponsor 2 children and 1 missionary. You speak about this on your blog and Twitter. You use your voice and your talents. You use your time and your money. You do what God calls you to do and that does not include giving away everything you have and living on the streets of in another country. He has put you here and now. Don't feel guilty about it."
As the hours progress, I alleviate my hunger by drinking copious amounts of water. Even as I drink the good clean clear water from my faucet, I think of the hundreds of thousands who don't have clean water. The ones who can't alleviate their hunger with good water. Once more I am awash in conviction and guilt for my blindness caused by my selfishness. My hunger is real and also temporary. I can't know what they know.
I face this demon on a regular basis and many times he wins the fight. I walk away from the battle feeling defeated, hopeless, worthless, and simply less. On rare occasions, I win the battle. I see how my few dollars and my few words make a difference and change the world. There is a fine line between pride and hope. It is a fuzzy line with sections missing. I walk both sides of the line. Sometimes my walk slows to a crawl. Sometimes that crawl leaves me prostrate on my face crying out to God, crying out for guidance, crying out for wisdom. And mostly crying out for forgiveness. Forgive me my selfish ways. Forgive me my broken humanity. Forgive me. Just forgive me please!
As I write, I realize the flaw in my prayer. Sometimes forgiveness is needed. However, a more effective prayer and a more effective attitude is crying out for God to use me. Lord use me! Use my words. Use my voice. Use my time. Use my talents. Use my money. Use me!!! Lord change me and use me!
As a side note: I had an awesome time playing around with the kids that participated on Saturday night. The conversations, the laughter, and the lessons that we shared might be a part of the using me.