Why are there hungry people?
SPRINGFIELD, MO — At a busy intersection, an unshaven man in a tattered coat aimed his cardboard sign in our direction: “Will Work for Food.”
“Dad,” my young daughter asked, “can we help him?”
I rolled down my window and handed him a few dollars. “Jesus loves you,” I said as the stoplight turned green.
The man smiled and nodded as we pulled away.
Moments later, my daughter remarked, “I’m glad we helped him.”
“I am, too,” I said as I patted her knee.
“Dad, why is that man hungry? Is it because he sinned?”
I promptly explained that poverty has many causes, including sin, misfortune and self-infliction. But our conversation was curiously reminiscent of one found in John 9, when Jesus heals a blind man.
The disciples observe a blind man from a distance, and they ask Jesus, “Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
Jesus replies, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” Then Jesus dabs mud on the man’s eyes and instructs him to wash in the Pool of Siloam. The man receives sight and he becomes a living testimony of God’s grace and mercy.
The disciples were preoccupied with the why question: “Why is this man blind?”
Jesus, on the other hand, was driven by the what question: “What can be done to meet this man’s need and give him eternal life?”
At times we resemble the disciples. We’re content to observe the lost and hurting from a distance, our thoughts monopolized by the wrong question: “What personal choices have led to their demise?”
But, as evidenced in this issue of Today’s Pentecostal Evangel, many believers are asking the right question: “Lord, what would You have me do so Your power can be displayed in the lives of desperate people?”
Assemblies of God World Hunger Day is a united response to the what? question.
While some may be content to merely debate the theories and causes of world hunger, let us follow Christ’s example and respond to the cries of hurting people with prayer, offerings and acts of kindness.
E-mail your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.