"35 million people in the U.S. are hungry
or don't know where their next meal is coming from,
and 13 million are children.
If another country were doing this to our children,
we'd be at war."
Sometimes when I go to the grocery store, I'm all about pushing my cart around the store and getting what I need, paying no attention to anyone or thing around me. Sometimes, though, I kind of stroll the aisles smiling at babies, helping old people, scanning the magazines for news other than what's happening to Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber. Today, I became aware of harried-looking mom's and dad's pushing carts with a couple kids in tow. Sunday being a day to finish a week's worth of errands. What was evident was how they were checking the prices, searching through coupons, and trying to balance budget constraints with treat desires.
In the cereal aisle I saw a young teen pick up a box of Count Chocula. Not the healthiest of cereals, and one that was sure to be rejected. I'm a mom. I've heard the word "please" drawn out by four year olds that can hold high C longer than any opera singer. And I've seen pouty faces, you're-the-meanest-mom-in-the-world faces and angry faces that have been turned away from me in stony silence. I feel sure he was preparing his case before he turned the corner to meet up with his mom and I smiled at his willingness to give it a try. It didn't work. All that happened as I did my so-normal-I-can-do-it-in-my-sleep shopping. Hmmm, I said to myself, how blessed I am to be able to shop without counting pennies.
Every year about this time in Jacksonville, an "Empty Bowls" Luncheon is served downtown to raise money to feed the homeless. Bowls are made by local students. For as long as I've lived here, I have wanted to attend the lunch. The question to be asked is why haven't I done it? I'm not sure of the answer.
"Empty Bowls is a grass roots movement to help end hunger."
You can find Empty Bowls campaigns all over the country. I have a friend who, among her many other talents, not only makes some bowls, she heads up the program for her community and teaches others how to make bowls. Because I donated some money last year, she sent me one her creations this year. It's been sitting on my desk ever since I unwrapped it. Sometimes its filled with papers I can't seem to throw away and sometimes it sits in stark emptiness. A perfect metaphor, I think, for a tummy that is either full or empty. I was going to move it into the kitchen or put it on my dresser, but I've decided to leave it right here where I can see it - empty or full - and be reminded to be grateful.
As I looked at it and thought about writing this post, I realized just how much I want to make a bowl - not just any bowl, but a bowl that will raise money to feed the hungry.
A few posts back I mentioned that my daughter, Weneki, has made a "Life List" in preparation for her visit to Camp Mighty. I talked to her yesterday and asked about it. As she read some of the things she's got on it, I thought I need to make a list like this.
That said, there is no time like the present.
Merry ME's Life List
1. Make a bowl
Today I'm grateful for inspiration. And I'm grateful to people who help others. May they be doubly blessed.
Wishing for you a box of your favorite cereal.
P.S. What you can't see in the picture above is this inscription around the rim:
"Each day your bowl is filled be filled with gratitude ~
Nourish yourself with what heaven fills you"