I am already getting hungry.
This Wednesday afternoon isn’t working out like it normally does. Usually after we volunteer a few hours, Kay and I go to Zaxby’s for chicken. Or I meet up with Jeff for supper. Or I just go home and eat leftovers.
But Kay is busy with her daughter’s UAB tour this Wednesday. Jeff is in Denver all week for business.
And I’m asked to do one more thing before I go home. I do it.
Then can you go this one more place? I go.
Oh, and now this. Okay. But now my stomach is grumbling loudly.
That means my heart isn’t far behind.
I am getting desperate. I haven’t had food in, like, 5 hours. Sad, I know.
And I’ve just committed to a two hour task.
Part of it requires an errand to Dollar General—where there is food.
I buy a can of Pringles (original flavor, still the best) and a Minute Maid lemonade. It’s supper. Woe is me. It’ll have to do.
I pop the lid, down a few chips, and drive to the next stop.
The rest of the night flies by. Finally I’m heading home down Memorial Parkway. Remembering I never really had supper, I eat a few more Pringles as consolation.
Until I get to the stoplight at University Drive.
It’s almost 9 p.m. Usually the homeless aren’t as visible after the sun sets, but here is a man in his late 30’s, still working his sign.
I look around my front seat. I have nothing.
Well, except this half-eaten can of Pringles.
I click my car doors locked, then I make eye contact with the man. He catches my glance immediately.
I roll down my window. Hey, it’s not much, but it’s all I’ve got. You can have it.
He walks to me and takes the can. He asks can I give him a dollar, too? I say, Sorry, no. He starts talking. He’s not adjusting well to civilian life, he says. I say again, I’m sorry. And I am.
My light turns green. I roll up my window. I drive away.
I watch the guy in my rear-view mirror. He sets down the can of Pringles without eating a single one.
Maybe he’s saving them for later. Or maybe he doesn’t want them at all. I mean, a can of Pringles? My feelings aren’t hurt.
But maybe it doesn’t matter either way. He’ll survive with or without them.
And God says to me:
So will you.
Perhaps giving away the Pringles was more for my good than the man’s.
Perhaps the divine appointment wasn’t to help him, but to help me.
Perhaps God wants me hungry.
So I’ll know the feeling.
So I’ll open up to a greater variety of resources he wants to provide.
And so I’ll share them with other hungry people.
If God hadn’t let me go without a real dinner tonight, I wouldn’t even have had chips to give away.
I’d have had nothing.
And I would have avoided eye contact with the stranger. I would not have connected at all.
And maybe most importantly, I would not have come full-circle with my own hunger. And God’s provision.
But instead, God let me get empty hours earlier so I’d buy shareable food with chump change, not knowing he’d use it most at 9:00 that night. . . .
. . . not to feed the homeless, but to feed my soul.
It’s not about my stomach, is it?
It’s about my heart.
Keep me hungry there.
In my hunger, open my eyes.
In my poverty, fill my heart.
In my riches, unclench my grip.
* * *
Have you been hungry lately? How have you seen God provide? Let’s talk in the comments.
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