My lunch was gone. I went to the fridge in our kitchen at Bud’s Warehouse to retrieve the pizza I brought in from home. It was missing in action. Recently, this has been happening with regularity and my emotions flashed. What am I going to do for food? I had planned to finish some work while eating at my desk. Now I had to burn 45 minutes in the quest for something to eat. I announced to one of our key managers that stealing food should not be tolerated anymore. If someone was hungry and asked…the pizza would be theirs. But if someone can’t be trusted with honesty in little matters, when no one is looking, how can they be trusted with the big things?
While that is certainly true and an important point of teaching in our job-training program, it isn’t the end of what we can learn from a missing lunch. I was able to drive to Chipotle and solve my hunger problem by purchasing a Mexican steak salad. For many around the world, unexpected events thrust hunger upon them with little chance of being resolved quickly. Hunger comes as an unplanned guest and makes itself at home.
After finishing my lunch, I felt a bit of the heaviness of the world. I may never know hunger or poverty, but I know in a small way what it is to be in want. We all know. There is a hole in all of us that screams to be filled…a place that will only be satisfied by God. It’s a hunger that we mistakenly try to fill with other idols like work, success, relationships, and the list goes on and on. These things lead to brokenness. But on the first Christmas, God shared in the brokenness of the world by limiting his omnipotence and becoming a little baby destined for a date on the cross some 30 years later. Jesus shared in the hunger of the world in order to offer the only thing that truly satisfies…a relationship that transforms eternity.
I may have missed an opportunity to share in the hunger of the world in a small little way by going without lunch. But I think I was reminded to tread lightly with grace. We are all beggars in need of the grace of God.