In the waiting room, a child looked at her mother with earnest eyes and announced loudly, “I’m starving momma.”
“No you ain’t, now sit down and hush,” the momma said.
The Ore-Ida jingle clanged on the television, “it’s Ore-ida-rida-rida,” while steaming bagel bites were pulled from the oven and piled high on a plate. The little girl in the waiting room wrythed, tortured. “Momma, I need somethin.” She was emphatic, needy. I guessed her to be eight. I didn’t blame her.
“Hush now; we’ll get something after your brother comes out.” The mother was adamant.
I watched from the far side of the room. In the land of plenty, we have lost a sense of lack. We are betrayed by our beltsizes and bank accounts. We are not starving. None of us. Not really.
A few weeks ago I followed Lindsey Nobles and the Food for the Hungry bloggers as they traveled to Ethiopia. They saw the faces of malnutrition, of developing-world starvation. They’ve counted ribs, seen bowed legs, lollipop heads.
I wonder how they feel when they hear their friends complain, “I’m starving.” I wonder if their guts churn a bit, if the fire rises in them. I wonder if the first world colloquialism pains them.
Scott and Allison drove three hours to bring us company and a bit of dinner. Scott and I stepped down to the coffee shop and he asked how I was holding up. “I don’t know,” I said, “but I wish Titus would just eat.” He said he was sorry, said that a time like this brings him to repentence. “I don’t think enough about my connection to food, about God’s connection to it,” he said. “I don’t think about what it means to hunger; not really.”
We sat in silence and I looked over the reflection pool. I wondered what Jesus meant when he blessed those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. Maybe he’s watching us all, the best of his creation, thinking, “I wish they would learn the pangs of right hunger; I wish they would learn to eat.”
Update: please keep praying for Titus Lee. We need him to tolerate feedings and gain weight. Amber will update again soon.