day 2 – hungry? – (living below the line diaries)

It’s day two and our friends are beginning to cotton on to what we’re doing, so we’re getting asked one question quite a lot: “are you hungry yet?”

empty bowls

There are two answers…

One from each of us. And they’re different.

One of us is genuinely hungry, and is noticing the difference in energy levels less than 48 hours in to the experience. Distracted; preoccupied; food on the mind.

One of us is not – and is affected only in the sense that food and drink are currently mostly experienced as unappetising necessities. What is normally enjoyed and savoured has now been reduced to functionality – fuel for the work that still needs to be done as if it was a normal week. But a few more days and the effects might start to show given the drop in vitamins and sugars…

Of course hunger is a different experience for each of the 1.4 billion individuals really living below the line.

Statistics estimate that 925 million people don’t have enough to eat and go to bed hungry each night, but many more people living in poverty experience hunger.

Unlike this week, with our carefully planned and consistent portions, and the knowledge that come Saturday normality will return, many people living in poverty face erratic food patterns, seasons of low yield, a great deal of uncertainty as to where their next meal will come from, and very little sense that an end is in sight.

And hunger is felt more deeply by some than others in any community…

By the child; the one who is unwell; those working long hours at hard manual labour; and mothers nursing one child and going without their fair share for the sake of the others.

This week is a reminder then that hunger is intensely personal.

It’s not just about being a statistic, or experiencing a state – it’s something that can touch every element of your life and bring you as many new choices as it removes.

One of us is facing a new choice today… should we carry on dividing our food 50:50? It breaks the rules of the exercise, but is that perhaps what Jesus would do?

Praying for wisdom

She’s hungrier than I am Lord,
So show me what to do.
From the little I have
Could I give more to her?
Even as I stand on the edge of hunger
And deliberate, justify, back-track…
What might you multiply in my heart
From laid down meals for my friend?
Might I see a glimpse of a sacrifice of praise
Made day after day by lovers and fasters the world over?
And know in some small part what it might be like
To lay down my life for my friend?
Might I transcend an exercise into discovering the truth?
That there’s infinite worth in each one you died for.
And when I feed one, I really am feeding you.

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