As Christians, we are called to feed God’s people period. Due to COVID-19, those who are left without work are now unable to even cover their four walls for their family food, water, shelter, and transportation. A common theme in our American culture is “pick yourself up by your bootstraps”, how can people pick themselves up when they ain’t got no straps and ain’t got no boots?. What does it say about our economy when the Dow Jones is at the highest it’s ever been and yet the lines at food banks are breaking record numbers?
34 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40 And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family,[a] you did it to me.’Mathew 25:34-40 (NRSV)
No one is immune
Every 2nd Saturday of the month the Healing Hunger Food Pantry serves those in the Azalea Park community in Orlando, FL the US Capital for Hospitality and Tourism. This past Saturday, December 12th was no different than those before it except for one thing… there were more cars in line seeking aid. What I observed that day was deeply humbling and nearly brought me to tears. Right behind a 2000 Pontiac that barely ran was a brand new Infinity SUV with a plate proudly saying UCF Alumni; they were both in the same line to receive food aid.
We are not to judge a book by its cover, but if I was to guess the 2000 Pontiac this was a way of life scraping by paycheck to paycheck and depending on food aid to feed their family. However, the family in the Infinity was something new. The Pontiac perhaps had their hours cut back or perhaps were laid off again as apart of company-wide “restructuring”, however, the Infinity which I project represents the middle class was laid off and finally ran out of their emergency fund.
What does this all mean? Nine month’s into this pandemic even our neighbors who would support and serve in the food pantry are now needing it’s aid. Whether a fast food worker, service industry worker, middle-management, accountant, or even software engineer we are all vulnerable. Remember to not judge people by what they drive or what they wear they may still need your help.
“Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family,[a] you did it to me.” Our charge is quite simple to support your fellow neighbor. If you are blessed to still be able to put food on the table be thankful, for there are many who can not. If you are able; donate your time, talent, or treasures to a local food bank. Support thy neighbor and remember we too shall overcome this.