What I hope For After the Coronavirus
My wife got up early and braved the cold, the rain and the long lines at the grocery story this morning. And she was victorious!! She came back with the oh so coveted toilet paper. And as our bounty of paper products and cleaning supplies were laid out on our counter — and we cheered with great celebration — it occurred to me that this season of scarcity has brought us a great opportunity. We didn’t know we needed it, but it may be one of the best things that could happen to us.
Even with the very small reality of any shortage of food or paper goods there is a little fear that is working its way into our hearts like the yeast my wife was unable to find at the store. Normally, fear would be at bad thing, but in this case I think it’s good. However, only with the caveat that you come to the realization that this is what so many people face around the world every day. And for these 4 weeks of a Coronavirus scare I’m now able to — even just a little — walk a mile in their shoes.
According to World Food Programme and foodaidfoundation.org:
- Some 795 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. That’s about one in nine people on earth.
- Poor nutrition causes nearly half (45%) of deaths in children under five – 3.1 million children each year.
- One out of six children — roughly 100 million — in developing countries is underweight.
- One in four of the world’s children are stunted. In developing countries the proportion can rise to one in three.
- 66 million primary school-age children attend classes hungry across the developing world, with 23 million in Africa alone.
My hope is that my heart — and yours — are moved to some sort of solidarity with the millions of people around the world that don’t have enough to eat every day.
My hope is that we remember, for these few weeks or even months, we are experiencing, to a very small degree, what so many millions experience every day in America and around the world.
My hope is the next time you get up early and wait at Costco for a few hours to get a package of toilet paper containing 12,750 sheets that you’ll remember those starving around the world. And maybe, just maybe, this season will change our hearts so that we are moved with compassion for those who are financially less fortunate than us.
So what can we do?
I don’t have all the answers, but here are a couple things I’ve thought of:
- Pray. My family prays, to give thanks, before we eat a meal. Usually we pray for others during that time too and we started including those around the world that don’t have food, clean water or access to education. It also helps us to be more grateful for what we have.
- Our church organized a Mobile Packing Day for our community through Feed My Starving Children. We were able to pack over 100,000 meals in that one day. Join us and other organizations in future events like this or organize your own.
- Donate money. There are a lot of places that help those who don’t have enough food. Find one you believe in and support them.
- Be an advocate. After the Coronavirus scare passes, don’t forget that your life is going back to normal, but for millions it will stay the same. Don’t forget! Use your voice.
I have often found when God starts to stir something in you He does so from multiple angles. I now know why God recently brought me to read James 1:26-27:
Anyone who sets himself up as “religious” by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.
Comment below with some of your ideas of how we can show solidarity with those starving around the world and make a difference.
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Excellent piece of writing! It’s not preachy and is very practical. Your voice of compassionate concern stirs me to voice my own prayer and my own concern to all those whom I may be able to influence