This is not just the name of a thrift store in town, or a bible passage, but the theme of the last few days.My faith in humanity, family and my Self has been sorely tested. It has dipped, plummeted, disappeared, bounced, and reverberated.
My hope for future generations, our environment, the world and my Self has waned, waxed, extinguished and been rekindled.
My charity has been given in the form of feeding furry, feathered & finned friends; compassionate listening; sharing what I have; and forgiveness. And received in the form of true friendship, monetary gifts, bargain priced tomatoes, and car repairs.
The other day I was driving behind a huge white truck that had a verse written across the tailgate. Something like “Those who will not work, do not deserve to eat.” This message struck me as really ugly and arrogant. As someone who recently started receiving support in the form of food stamps, I cringed. Do I not deserve to eat, if I can’t find a full-time job? It is ironic that we were positioned at the stoplight near the chicken production plant.
A story on NPR today speaks to losses suffered by farmers due to this year’s drought:
Midwestern corn and soybean farmers are taking a beating during the recent drought, but it’s not likely to drive many out of business. Most of those farmers carry terrific insurance, and the worse the drought becomes, the more individual farmers will be paid for their lost crops. The federal government picks up most of the cost of the crop insurance program, and this year that bill is going to be a whopper.
Another story about the same farm bill warns about cuts to the food stamp program:
Food stamps, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, look to be the most contentious issue when the Agriculture Committee begins voting on the bill… Conservatives in the Republican-led House are certain to demand greater cuts in the food stamps program, which makes up about 80 percent of the nearly $100 billion a year in spending under the farm bill. Senate Democrats are equally certain to resist more cuts in a program that now helps feed 46 million people, 1 out of every 7 Americans.
As I look around my community and count every 7th nose, I am grateful for the program that I paid into with 30+ years as a full-time employee, and as an employer through my small business. And I am equally grateful for the food added to my table and to so many tables in my rural community.
At church this week, we sang John Lennon’s Imagine. “Imagine no possessions. I wonder if you can. No need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man. Imagine all the people, sharing all the world…” That’s where I’m putting my faith.
Think: What do you have faith in? Where has faith dwindled? Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Imagine a small spark of faith that is ignited within and leaps outward to ignite a dream of yours. Watch as the flames catch, and being to dance, then blaze with a light so bright that all can see.
Say: Write down, then read out loud what about the dream that got ignited. Describe it in great detail. Then tell a trusted person about your dream and why it is so important to you.
Do: The spark is ready when you are. Say “Yes!” and welcome all support for your dream as it unfolds. Watch with wonder as your efforts are matched by other contributions. “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” Share the wealth, your passion, and your faith.