Saturday, September 11, 2010
The Color of Hunger
The color of hunger is hard to break down into one particular color. I work with hunger, and have seen hunger in the eyes of infants, children, adults, and the elderly. Hunger can be painful, and hunger is hope. I've seen pain in the eyes of parents who are praying that they can put a meal on their table for the kids at night. I've watched desperation in a man pulling food out of trashcan and the relief on his face when he found a half eaten apple which was discarded and is now his lunch. I've watched joy build up when delivering food to people, because they know for the next few days they can eat and regain strength for their families and for their self. Here is the reason why I chose brown as the color of hunger!
Brown is the color of the earth. The dust from which we were made from, and the color that blankets us when our time on earth is done. Hunger is brown, because it represents the "real" nature of people. If someone is hungry, truly hungry, this feeling overpowers them, and they have trouble concentrating on anything else and find it hard to get around during the day. Having fasted myself, I can tell you from first hand experience that going 40 hours without food is no easy task. I cannot imagine feeling like that, and knowing that at the end of the 40 hours I was still not sure where I was going to find food. I cannot imagine what it would be like to live like this the majority of the time. I have fed the homeless and watched as a quiet, worn down group of people enter the establishment and leave energized and on top of the world. Just a simple meal of beans and rice is a banquet feast to people who have nothing! A cup of water is like gold, and something as nourishing as gatorade is heaven. When you think of all the different foods we eat and where they come from, the color of the earth is in everything. You eat a potato, you clean it first to wash off all the brown dirt. You eat a hamburger, and can know without a shadow of a doubt that animal lived on the land and ate from the land. Everything we eat comes from the earth, comes from the color brown. Things such as bananas, rice, chocolate and so on, did not just appear, they were planted in the ground and grew to be a delicious dish! The color brown is a solid color and is very powerful. Hunger is a very powerful feeling that wears down people in our communities! It's a sad thing to watch and even more than that, to experience. We take advantage of our food and snacks, and probably the thought does not even enter our minds in the week, month, or year that people everywhere are dying for just one cracker or meal. Even if you are just remembering these people in your thoughts and/or prayers, or you have some extra time on your hands after cleaning out your pantry to donate extra cans to the homeless shelter, remember that the earth has provided so much for us, and we walk the same streets as our neighbors who should have the same luxury as we do.
"If you can't feed a hundred people, than just feed one."