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I Am Responsible

It’s easy to think about hunger as something that happens in the “third world.” I guess it makes us feel better to think that hunger is a problem that happens somewhere else. I live in the United States and it just doesn’t make sense that people here should go hungry. So you can imagine my shock when a student at the institution where I was working stood up during a church service and gave a testimony about how she was able to feed herself because a stranger gifted her with $10.

“Otherwise,” she said, “I would’ve starved.”

Her testimony was beautiful, and seeing her genuine gratitude towards God for providing for her was inspiring. But I have to admit that after hearing her testimony I was shocked and angry. So immediately following the church service, I went to find my boss (who I knew had also attended) to express my shock and anger.

“How is this possible?!” I asked. “This is an institution of higher learning, there is no excuse for someone to be going hungry. These students are paying a lot of money and are working very hard! I cannot believe that someone had to survive on $10 worth of food for the entire week. How could THEY let this happen? THEY need to do something!”

“Wait a minute.” My boss stopped me, “Who are THEY?”

At that moment, I knew exactly what he meant with that question. I was passing off the responsibility of caring and feeding my neighbor to the unidentifiable THEY. But I am THEY. God calls us all to help those around us, even when the need feels too big for us to solve.

I’m thankful that my boss was patient enough with me to have that conversation. Together, my boss and I spearheaded an initiative that provided at least one hot meal to students every week (and many times sent them home with leftovers). God has blessed us all with the ability to help one another. I hope that the next time that I have the opportunity to help–instead of passing the buck–I’ll step up and say, “I am responsible.”

If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion- how can God’s love be in that person. Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions (1John 3:17-18, NLT).

Jael Amador writes from New York, New York.

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About Jael Amador

Jael Amador

writes from New York, New York.

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