Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Reflection: Ciona Rouse

We keep trying to live on only $21/week. Lanecia and I, however, decided that we would not refuse offers from people who give us food (though we would not ask). People who live on food stamps may receive free food from friends at times, so we decided to live into that, in moderation of course, if anyone offered.

Well, the offers keep coming. Not because we've told people that we were accepting food but simply because people want to make sure we have plenty to eat during this time. It's amazing, really, how our friends and family won't let us eat poorly. We were gifted with fresh farm eggs from a friend who had extra eggs from the farm co-op at church. We have been given frozen vegetables from one of our friend's parents. Our mother fed us while we were here and insists on gifting us with food. It's quite humbling really. And, while we really try to live within just the $21, we are blessed by the gifts.

I'm reminded of being in Eldorado Park, a community in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2005. I stayed with a family who had enough to survive but not much more. But when a child from next door came to the house and said that her family had no more bread and could not afford any bread, Auntie Connie gave her the bread they had left without hesitation. I'm reminded of the many times we've been with our homeless neighbors in Nashville and seen them share with one another and with us. I'm reminded of the early believers in the book of Acts who lived together in community and "no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common . . . There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold" (Acts. 4:32-34). This was not a decree of the government at the time; these were people of faith imagining a better way to live with each other.

There is enough food in the world for everyone to be fed well, but still so many go hungry. Could the church imagine another way?


Mollie said...

Amen! David got a free meal from his clients who learned about what he was doing, and the sweet, sweet Murdocks brought us a pound of top-shelf coffee on Sunday, when we realized that decent coffee would have to be cut from the grocery list.

I'm so fascinated/saddened by the truth that there really is enough food for all on earth. The amount of food that is thrown away every day in America could probably feed all the world's hungry.

Maybe we could have a food stamp potluck, and you can only spend on your dish the amount of people in your family x $1 - and then I bet we could see how well everyone could eat by sharing in a food community.

Ciona said...

That's a great idea, Mollie. We can maybe do that one Sunday after church. Let's organize it in the next few weeks.