Earlier today, I saw something on Twitter that stayed with me all day.
The comment that store security has just hardened to the major increase in grocery theft due to COVID-19 just broke my heart.
I don’t blame the security staff – they are doing their jobs – I’m heartbroken at the horrifying situation we are in where people are having to steal food.
People have lost their jobs, have experienced ungodly medical bills, have had long periods off of work due to illness, have had one parent need to come home to homeschool, have had one adult child need to stop working due to an ailing aged parent, have had unexpected funeral costs due to this monster sweeping our land, or any number of other situations – and that is before we even take into account how many families were already suffering from food insecurity.
The picture is grim.
Our neighbors to the north are also suffering.
Just yesterday, I also read that UNICEF is feeding children in Britain this Christmas for the first time ever as well.
This crisis is everywhere.
While I have always had a heart for the hungry, I think I am experiencing this in an even more visceral way right now – and maybe that’s a God thing.
As I’ve written to you all, over the past weeks and months, I’ve been experiencing serious GI issues – and have had several episodes where I was simply totally unable to eat. As a diabetic with other autoimmune diseases on multiple medications, this left me horribly weak, shaking, unable to think clearly or read, watching YouTube for hours. Anyone who knows me well knows that just staring at the TV is NOT me.
I have been incredibly ill over the past few years – and I’ve lived through some difficult life circumstances in the past as well – but I have NEVER been so godawful weak-as-a-kitten sick in my life as those episodes.
Between my GI diagnoses and my many food allergies – and the CRPS flares, it’s just tough.
Well, as the CRPS flare began to subside (Praise the Lord!), Sara and I spent a LONG time on the Shipt app looking through all of Publix offerings of things that:
- I could have with all of my food restrictions (they are extensive).
- I felt like I could stomach as I was coming to the end of the major nausea and vomiting days.
Finally, I settled on a few things that “sounded good.”
Well, my first effort I don’t even want to talk about. It was a spectacular fail – and brought a new food decidedly added to my allergen list. After eating it, I was set back and sick as Hale again for two more days. Oh my word.
But then. . .
I literally prayed and prayed and tried again.
Sara made me a sweet ham sandwich on this new GF Hawaiian Bread we found that I had been crazy excited about – because I loved King’s Hawaiian rolls and haven’t had them since I was diagnosed with Celiac disease in 2012.
Y’ALL. When I tell you a dinner at the Waldorf would not have tasted better to me, I mean it. I blessed it, I ate at a turtle’s pace, and it was the best meal I’ve ever eaten. I honestly felt like I was coming back to life. Days of no blood sugar and trying to take the chemo med I take for my RA so at least it wouldn’t explode on an empty stomach had just about taken me out.
Since then, we’ve cobbled together the simplest meal plan of rotating:
- sweet ham sandwiches on GF Hawaiian bread
- roasted chicken sandwiches on regular GF bread
- grilled chicken nuggets with the super yummy Chick-Fil-A Polynesian sauce my husband found for me!
It’s low fat (which my stomach needs), high protein (of which I am super deficient), and just the right amount of carbs. It has none of my allergens – and, though my stomach is still my grumpy stomach, it is tolerating it sooo much better than it has tolerated food in a long long time.
I’ve accepted now that I really DO need to add that allergy bracelet to my medical alert bracelet and I really just AM one of those people who will have to carry my own food with me everywhere.
And you know what?
That is totally okay.
I have never blessed food so enthusiastically as I do now – and it has never tasted better.
Because I just walked through such an ungodly experience, I do believe the Lord is using that to truly break my heart even more so than usual for everyone experiencing hunger and food insecurity and fear. I grieve for them in a very real, personal way. I can’t imagine their overwhelm, especially if they also have children.
I just don’t have enough words.
While we are all limited in what we can do – as we have all been affected by this pandemic – we can all do something. In fact, we must.
A generous person will be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor. – Proverbs 22:9
For there will never cease to be poor people in the land; that is why I am commanding you, “Open your hand willingly to your poor and needy brother in your land.” – Deuteronomy 15:11
It is a sin to despise one’s neighbor, but blessed is the one who is kind to the needy. – Proverbs 14:21
Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. – Isaiah 1:17
The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” – Matthew 25:40
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. – 1 John 3:18
And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. – Hebrews 13:16
Everyone should not only look out for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. – Philippians 2:4
First, we can all be people of prayer. There is so much suffering and it’s the holidays and there is nothing more loving than to constantly pray.
Also, when we are able, we can give. I’ve added a tab to my site menu with giving suggestions, including donating to No Kid Hungry, sponsoring a World Vision child, and supporting the products that truly do give back.
I do believe better times are ahead of us – but it is a long long road and there is so much suffering.
We have been through such a divisive period recently and it has taken so much from us – but I know we can all stop and look around us and agree that everyone deserves to eat.
Let’s all do what we can.
Be well, everybody. Take care of yourselves and each other.
Grace and Blessings.