Articles like this haunt me. It is impossible to even comprehend what is happening to hundreds of thousands of people at this very moment all across Africa. As I am writing this, countless mothers are watching their babies die of starvation, and are helpless to do anything about it. I can't even begin to imagine facing something like that.
I have an entire blog dedicated to learning to eat better, less, making wiser choices. I feel so self absorbed. No, correction...I AM so self absorbed. Every day since I read that article, a week ago, I have thought "how could I ever overeat again, knowing what I know about what is happening in the world? How can I complain about having weight to lose, when I know that people are starving right now?" It feels so heavy. I want to do something, anything, but the need is so much greater than anyone can fathom. Yet, I know that the magnitude of the problem is not license to ignore it.
So, I take little, feeble, insignificant steps. I have given up meat. The cost of grain around the world is soaring. It takes a lot more land and grain to raise a cow, than it does to raise crops in the same amount of space.
And I pray for those people who are suffering so horribly. This article from John Piper was encouraging.
I was talking to our Pastor's wife yesterday, who also struggles with food issues. She said that the food crisis in Africa doesn't change the personal struggle that she has with food. Obviously, what the people in Africa face is a level of hardship that most of us will never know. But we were not born into that. And our struggles, though tiny, by comparison, are real too. Making wise eating choices is hard. Not running to food for comfort is difficult. We don't have to be ashamed that our struggles exist, just because they aren't as big as someone else's.
I really appreciated her perspective, because I do feel so, so guilty about struggling to eat healthy, delicious fruits and vegetables rather than junk food, when so many struggle to even find water.
I ask myself: "What impact does my overeating have on people in other parts of the world"? Alone, very little, I am sure. But what about our nation? We are a country of overeaters. How does that impact people in Ethiopia?
So, while I struggle with what I eat and the emotions that go with it on a day to day basis, I also struggle with with the bigger issues of having so much while others have nothing, of being thankful, of keeping a proper perspective, of taking responsibility to do what I can, no matter how small, regardless of how great the problem.