Stay hungry


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.

Oh, Lord.
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.

26 thoughts on “Stay hungry

  1. Michele Morin

    What a great reminder that what’s going on in the external world is really so often a picture of our interior landscape. I struggle all the time with confusing soul hunger for physical hunger. I love how you keep putting yourself “out there” with those who are in need. Blessings on your Monday!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      You’ve pegged me too, Michele—it’s so easy to confuse our different hungers. Bottom line is we need Jesus regardless of what hunger we’re experiencing. Thanks for stopping by today.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Exactly, Linda. God gives to us and then we have something to pass along to others. I want to stay in touch with how he fills me up so I can let it overflow.

  2. Pamela

    It all comes back to the heart — even our empty stomachs. So whether I’m hungry or full, sick or well, rich or poor, I want to give what I have, connect where I am and love with every fiber of my soul. You always encourage me to share more of my love.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      That’s beautiful, Pamela. Your words remind me of the great passage in Philippians 4:12,
      “I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty.” (Msg)

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I need to use my physical hunger more as a reminder of my hunger and thirst for righteousness because I’m always keenly aware of wanting to eat. 🙂

  3. Dolly@Soulstops

    This is great: “And maybe most importantly, I would not have come full-circle with my own hunger. And God’s provision.”

    Yes, I want to remain hungry for God because He is what my soul needs to be fully satisfied…and yet I can be easily distracted so I ask God for grace to remember Who my soul really hungers for…and also to remember to be generous because God is generous…appreciate your heart 🙂

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, it is so easy to get distracted and confuse what our hearts are really longing for. 🙁 I pray for that grace too. May he continue to nudge us into greater awareness. Thanks for stopping by, Dolly.

  4. David

    Really nice story, very neat.

    I love the way the downbeat ending guides us to consider the arc of the whole day (the Pringles can that was rejected …).


    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Not only was it rejected, but the next day when I was driving by the intersection, I saw it laying lifeless there on its side. ha. Maybe it had been emptied out; maybe never touched. Either way, it’s okay.

  5. Sharon

    I am hungry. Lately I’ve been so hungry for the sense of God’s presence. Of course, I know He’s there, and I believe that Truth with my whole heart. But sometimes I just want to *feel* Him there. I’m sure there will be moments when I’ll “sense” Him, and moments when I won’t. But in the end, I realize that I am experiencing a hunger that will never be fully satisfied until I see Him face-to-face. And that hunger is a good one – for one day it will be fulfilled!!


    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I do think we go through seasons where we hunger more for one aspect of God, more for another. I’m like you, Sharon—I know his presence is always with us, but there are times when I’d love to actually see him with my eyes and touch him with my hands. But yes, one day all that will be satisfied.

  6. Laura

    Yes. I’ve had to remind myself over and over again that this hunger inside isn’t meant to be filled by earthly things. Thank you, Lisa. You describe the sehnsucht perfectly. And now, I’m feeling my hunger stoked. That’s a good thing.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      So I had to look up sehnsucht (German noun for “longing”, “yearning”, or “craving”, or in a wider sense a type of “intensely missing”). 🙂 And yes, that is a very apt word! Thanks, Laura. I’m always learning things from you, spiritually and otherwise.

  7. Kelly Chripczuk

    My favorite line, “That means my heart isn’t far behind.”
    It’s funny how my inattention to little things like hunger and tiredness can really wreck the day for me and those I care for. I’m kinda the opposite – instead of staying hungry to be aware of need, I’m trying to better care for myself so I will have the compassion to better care for others. Same destination, different routes! Thanks for being a part of #SmallWonder, Lisa.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I love how God can work both ends like that! Depending on our season, he can take our hunger and use it from the best angle to get our attention. Thanks for sharing this, Kelly.

  8. Jody Lee Collins

    Lisa, I am so blessed by the way you listen to the Lord and share your ‘conversations’ with us. All because of a can of Pringles.
    Oh Jesus, keep me hungry for you, for your presence, for your provisions.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I try not to share too many snippets of my conversations with God because some might be quite disturbing. ha. But others are probably applicable to many of us. Thanks for your encouragement, Jody.

  9. Jen Ferguson

    What are we hungry for, really? It’s a question I often seem to neglect to ask. Instead, I just try to fill the hole. But when we allow ourselves to actually feel hungry and then ask God to meet the need, how radically different His answer usually is. What I think I’m craving, it’s not really so. It’s for something entirely different. And when I recognize that what I’m really hungry for is Him, I let go of so many of the things I’ve held onto and I can more freely give.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Good insights, Jen. Too often we don’t want to slow down long enough to see what we’re really hungry for. Too busy. Or too lazy. Or too confused by it all. ha. But thankfully God does continue to stir those longings until we figure it out with his help.

  10. Jean Wise

    wow read this twice. feeding our souls often come at the last thing we do too. no wonder we fill up on junk food instead of Him. by the way I think that pringles can would have been empty! love them too much. how’s that for greedy?

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m greedy for Pringles too. To eat a half a can (a big can) was quite a lot of fat grams. 🙂 But yes, your point is well taken that we too often fill up on junk spiritual food too, leaving little room for the nutritious, life-giving Bread of Life.

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