Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tranquil Tuesday: Going Hungry

I'm heading off to Chicago this week for a very busy event schedule. It's odd not to be home during Mardi Gras and Ash Wednesday but I'll look forward to finding a church to stop into for services on Wednesday.

Our beloved priest Stuart at Christ Church, Georgetown always welcomes Lent with gusto. His letters in the Courier encourage us to make it to a service this Wednesday. I try to greet Lent with thoughtfulness. I don't necessarily "give up" anything but try to take things on. I try to be more focused in my spiritual and Biblical reading and try to attend Lenten studies at church.

I'm going to try to go hungry a little more this Lent.  I am blessed beyond measure to have the opportunities to dine out so often. We don't have kids so this becomes a sort of sport for us.

We recently heard a priest in her sermon suggest we try to stay hungry. Her sermon was  inspiring. She spoke visually. She asked us to imagine the amount of change we would have for our weekly lunches, rolled up in coins from the bank. Now imagine having all of that change in your car cup holder. When someone asks for change, you simply dip into your cup holder and say yes. When it runs out, she suggested we try and see what it feels like to go without lunch. To go hungry.

Now every time I pass a person asking for money I reconsider giving my time, my smile and my money. I am one of those people who doesn't want to enable a person on the street with small hand outs. There were so many shelters to go to in Washington, DC that it was a shame there were so many homeless. I felt like if I added to the small change given that these folks would never find their way to the Georgetown Ministry Center. I saw first hand what holding someone accountable could do to their confidence and independence. So, feeling smart and clever, I stopped giving money to people on the street. Well, this Lent I'm going to change my thinking. I'm going to give what I can when asked. I'm going to say yes as much as I can without putting myself in a financial crisis. 

Wishing you all a prayful and contemplative Lent. And enjoy Mardi Gras and Carnival to my friends all over the world!


Anonymous said...

Very thoughtful post: thank you.

Pigtown-Design said...

i was on the board of the south baltimore homeless shelter (now south baltimore station) for a number of years. the suggested philosophy was to not give each individual homeless person, since they'd most likely use it for drinking or drugs. save the money from lunches and send it to a shelter. you'll get more bang for your buck.

Ella said...

This was interesting but it took me some time to understand that Mardi Gras is what we call Fat Tuesday. (Had to dig deep in the french-language-knowlege in my brain)