God has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away with empty hands.
Luke 1:53 Mary's Song
We never hear anything about the Occupy Wall St. movement anymore. Occupy seemed to be one of those attention-grabbing events which swept around the world then disappeared. It began on Wall St. in New York as a protest against the "one percent" who controlled and pillaged the US financial system leaving millions reeling and even destitute. It wasn't well organized, in places confrontations got ugly, and then as fast as it started it was gone.
Yesterday there was news that the Dow stock market index has reached record heights, a sign of an economic recovery in the United States. The trouble is, this doesn't do much for the millions who are still unemployed.
The same day there was a report in the BBC News service about the 17 million US children who live in poverty. The focus of the piece is a family in Iowa, a mom and her two kids, Kaylie (above) and Tyler, ten and twelve, who have fallen on hard times. After the mother lost her job they couldn't keep up with mortgage payments and lost their home. They live on less than $1500 a month and $700 of that goes for rent of a motel room. They don't have a fridge, so fresh foods are no longer part of their diet. Both children help out, picking up bottles and mowing lawns. A two dollar shirt at the Salvation Army is too much for their limited resources and the kids are always hungry. According to the article:
Apple sauce is in, canned vegetables, tinned spaghetti, meatballs and ravioli might be. But when Kaylie asks for ground beef, she is overruled as their motel room does not have a fridge to keep things fresh - just a sink filled with crushed ice. There's nowhere to cook, either.
It's not the first time that the family has struggled to get hold of the food they would like - or enough of it."We don't get three meals a day like breakfast, lunch and then dinner," says Kaylie. "When I feel hungry I feel sad and droopy."
Maybe those disorganized, anarchic Occupy types had it right. It certainly isn't right that a nation which boasts about being the wealthiest and most powerful in the world has 17 million hungry kids. We have plenty of hungry children in this country as well, with all our prosperity.
Some of the Occupiers were people of faith who saw the opportunity to uphold scriptural principles. The biblical prophets, including Jesus and his mother Mary, had harsh things to say about those who allowed neighbours to go hungry when they were living off the fat of the land. The economic recovery might not be so great after all, if it doesn't include everyone.