Tag Archives: pain

our last piece of bread

We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. — Victor Frankl

Heroism comes in many guises. It’s not always the bravery of a soldier giving his life for his comrades or the selfless actions of a firefighter risking her life to save a child from a burning building.

As Frankl so eloquently describes, there are heroes who simply do what they can to comfort others in their time of need. The do whatever they are able to make pain more bearable and offer whatever hope they can bring.

All of us have the freedom to be that hero. All of us can carry hope. We are not asked to give away our last piece of bread. But, as Frankl points out, we all have the freedom to choose our own way.

What will we choose today? Will we turn selfishly inward, or will we choose to care enough to be the bringers of comfort to those in need?

the shame of all

I have often stated that hunger is not a problem. And I stand by that statement.

But, if hunger is not a problem, what, exactly, is it? Is it a social ill? Is it a political issue? Is it a spiritual issue?

We live in a perfectly created world with more than enough resources to supply the needs of every member of our human family. This has been true now for over 50 years. Yet, we allow over 25,000 people to die every day because they do not receive enough food to keep them alive.

How is that possible? What does that say about our humanity?

Hunger is an obscenity. It’s the most vile vulgarity uttered on our planet. And there is simply no excuse for any of us.

Every single child that cries herself to sleep from the pain of an empty stomach is a damning indictment of our frightening lack of moral values, both as individuals and of society as a whole. We would do well to remember that,

“The hunger of one is the shame of all.”

for those living with poverty and hunger

Here is a prayer by Mimi A. Simson from Santa Barbara, California in Lifting Women’s Voices: Prayers to Change the World, a collection of wonderful prayers written by women from around the world.

For Those Living with Poverty and Hunger

Our Loving Creator God,
We bring before you this day
the burden the whole world carries
as it endures extreme poverty and hunger
in every land.
Stretch out your loving arms, we pray,
to embrace the suffering women, men and children
whose bodies, minds and spirits are shrinking
before our very eyes.
Help us to look, really look,
with clear eyes and open hearts,
to see the pain and hopelessness
in their bewildered eyes.
Kindle within each one of us
a flame of love and purpose,
and then
Enable us to channel our love into action
in every way possible
and impossible.
For this we pray.  Amen

live alive, my friends

Today is the six month anniversary of my daughter Amy’s death.  I still miss her terribly, as does all her family and friends. And yet, life goes on. Even as I recognize and accept the emptiness left by her passing, I celebrate her life and the fullness with which she lived.

Amy loved life and it showed. She lived alive. She was strong in her illness and faced her passing without fear. For those of us left behind to do anything less would be to dishonor her memory.

Life goes on, but naturally, it will never be the same for those of us who loved her. As a Christian I believe Amy is in a far better place, one prepared by a loving God, a place without pain or suffering. Yet, we all still grieve, and will for a long time to come. That’s to be expected.

But, even in the midst of our grief and feeling of loss there is continued growth. And in that there’s hope and promise. Each of her children carry her spirit, and each in their own unique way reflects Amy’s goodness and love.

Mark Twain wrote that we each need to live in such a way that even the undertaker will be sorry when we die. Amy lived that kind of a life.

Live alive, my friends! Our time here is not a dress rehearsal.