Tuesday, November 06, 2012


I needed to go into Tesco this evening for a few things to get us by until I do my proper food shop. I needed milk, cheese and one or two other things.

I like shopping at night, because it's peaceful and I usually only have Jaguar, who lies in the baby chair in the trolley and sleeps, so I can wander around at my own pace and have a good look for bargains.

We have so much choice when it comes to food. I found myself in the soup aisle - soup aisle - amongst cans and cans of soup, every possible kind of soup. It took up nearly an entire aisle in the supermarket. I began to think of people in other countries, how a tin of soup might be an entire meal for a week, or longer, for an entire family, and would be a luxury at that.

No matter how hard we try, we will never be able to grasp what much of the world live like every single day, working harder than we've ever worked, for longer hours than we need to work, to afford to feed their families. I've been to several different countries on mission trips, and I've seen first hand many hungry people. But I myself, while maybe wasn't eating in luxury, was still well fed. The food I could afford, or the food that we brought along with us, was more than sufficient for our needs. I was able to see the way people around us lived, in Pakistan, in Venezuela, in rural Mexico, but I have still never experienced it.

Try as I might, I will probably always to some degree take food for granted. If I am hungry, I open a cupboard. Even when Scott and I were at our poorest, living on one income, feeding four people, living penny by penny... even then, I could open my cupboard and find a can of soup. Several cans usually. Maybe all we'd eat for dinner some nights was beans on toast. But the beans came from a tin (not from a hand-tilled garden and soaked overnight) and the bread came pre-sliced in a plastic bag (not baked from scratch in a make-shift open-fire oven). I have never known hunger, and thank God for that. I am thankful that I can go to a supermarket and buy food to feed myself and my family, and can even do it on a tight budget. I am thankful that we do not have to work the soil with our bare hands to produce a semi-decent (and sometimes downright poor) harvest in order to eat.

I will try and keep all of this in perspective, and be thankful for the rich blessings we all get from living in rich countries. My guess is if you are fortunate enough to be reading this post on the internet, you are fortunate enough to be thankful you have food. I am so deeply thankful for food and for being fortunate enough to be able to afford it, though I may never know just how thankful I should be.

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