Journey with John
Fred Craddock was one of my Seminary professors. He was an extraordinary man and the finest preacher I’ve ever heard. He shared the gospel message in a way that got down to brass tacks. You couldn’t avoid the message. I’ve shared the story before, but it always touches my heart even as it convicts my soul. Dr. Craddock shared:
I lived near a railroad track as a boy and I remember a number of mornings going into the kitchen to get some breakfast, and there’d be a strange, ugly looking, poorly dressed man at the table eating – just eating away. I was scared of him. And when he left, I would say, “Mom, who was he?” She’d say, “Well, his name was Henry, and he said he was hungry.”
“Well, where’d he come from?” “He came down the railroads tracks.”
People called them hobos. They walked the tracks begging, maybe stealing, maybe getting what they could to stay alive. They’d stop by our house, and there, sitting in the kitchen eating what we had to eat, just eating it like they’d never have another meal. And I’d say, “Mama, weren’t you scared?” She said, “Well, he was hungry.”
“Well, I was scared of him.”
“Well, he was hungry….”
Knowing about hunger is important, doing something about it is essential. In a nation that is obscenely wealthy, how is it possible that 40 million American people struggle with hunger? It makes me uncomfortable and scares me a little. Maybe, it’s because never once have I been hungry – not once in 63 years! I didn’t always have a lot, but never hungry. Hunger is becoming an epidemic. How is this possible, especially in a land that is as rich as ours? Maybe more of us (meaning ME) need to set an extra place at the table and following the hospitality of Christ’s Table, INVITE a hungry person to breakfast. If enough of us did it often enough, it would make a profound difference. Nearly a billion people around the world don’t have enough food for a healthy, active life. One in every nine goes to bed hungry. Currently, 20 million are at risk of famine in South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria. Let that sink in…. Pope Francis said, “You pray for the hungry. Then you feed them. This is how prayer works.” This is how Food Finders works as they feed the hungry in our community…. “Mama, weren’t you scared?” She said, “He was hungry.” “Well, I was scared of him.” “Well, he was hungry.” I’ve got a lot of praying and a whole lot of doing ahead of me. Let’s end hunger.