My daughter will stand in front of the open refrigerator and stare at the full shelves of food, and then walk over to the kitchen pantry, open the door, and stare at those shelves full of food and then whine, "We don't have anything to eat in this house!"
My daughter has not missed too many meals in her life, and neither have I. In fact, I can't remember a time in my life when I was really hungry.
Oh, there were those times between meals when I might have said, "Man, I'm starving! I can't wait until supper is ready. I am really hungry!"
But, I have never been truly hungry. I have always known that I would be able to eat again when I wanted to.
But, I know that's not the case for everyone. We don't have to go to another continent to find people who are going without food because of poverty. There are people right here in Middle Tennessee, right here in Bedford County who go several days without a meal.
I've heard local teachers say they know there are students in their schools who leave school on Friday who won't have a good meal again until they return to school on Monday.
Some schools have even started food pantries to help the needy families among their student bodies.
There are people right here in our community who are really hungry.
I attended a meeting recently at Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church to talk about this subject, and to discuss ways that we could help families in need.
Betsy Shelton, the director of Care Kitchen of Marshall County, came to the meeting to talk to us about what she and others are doing to help the hungry in Lewisburg. Eleven churches of different denominations have banded together to provide a free hot meal every Thursday evening for those in need in their community.
When they first started their feeding program there were seven people who came that first night. As the ministry grew and the word spread they have fed as many as 200 people in one night.
There are hungry people all over Bedford County as well. Community organizations have been formed over the years to help people in need, and they do a good job. But, the need is only growing in this time of bad economy and rising gas prices. People are really feeling the pinch.
People have to make the choice between buying groceries or paying their rent. Some families let their electricity get turned off so they can feed their children.
In times like these, those of us who do have full refrigerators and full pantries need to think of ways that we can help others in need.
As I drive up and down the country roads of Bedford County or drive through the city streets here in Shelbyville I know I am driving by families that may be struggling, families that may be going without food.
I want to do more to help.
The people at Pleasant Grove UMC are talking about doing more. They want to make a difference. They want to feed the hungry.
Those of us who have can help those who don't. We can all make a difference.
Let's start talking among ourselves and come up with ways that we can help those in need.
I was at three churches this past weekend where there were potluck dinners. The tables were spread with lots of food. Lots of food! I doubt that there were many people there, if any, that were really hungry, that had missed many meals.
What can we do to help those in need? Let's have big dinners and invite the needy, feed the hungry.
Jesus said in Luke 14:12-14, "When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return, and repayment come to you. But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."
We can make a difference. Let's start talking about it and let's do something.
-- Doug Dezotell is the pastor of Mt. Lebanon UMC and Cannon UMC. He is a former staff writer for the Times-Gazette, and he is a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a friend to many. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.