In 2005, Director Ron Howard released a hit movie about a classic American Hero James Braddock, an Irish-American boxer who claimed the World Heavyweight championship in 1935 by defeating Max Baer, the fierce indestructible German fighter.
The backdrop of the story grows out of the darkness and despair of the Great Depression in New York City. In the early days of the depression Braddock broke his hand in a fight and was forced to give up his livelihood as a fighter to work the docks for less and a living wage. He and his wife Mae struggled to raise a family on practically nothing. Food was scarce, and money even more scarce.
Sportswriter Damon Runyon dubs Braddock “the Cinderella Man” because of his rise from rags to riches—from the gutter to glory. As you know a Cinderella story always starts with struggle and tragedy. In one unforgettable scene in the movie, Braddock rises early for work. When he sits down for breakfast his wife informs him that she does not have enough food for him and the children. With sacrificial love he pushes the plate away and orders her to feed the children while he heads to work with nothing but the growl of hunger in his stomach.
Most of us know very little about real hunger. Many of us struggle keeping our weight down and go from fade diet to fade diet. We consume grapefruits, cut our carbs, reject “red” meat, and eat fish like Jesus’ disciples in hopes of losing a few pounds that will return once again after feasting our way through the holidays. Meanwhile, in El Paso we are surrounded by family who struggle to know where the next meal will come from especially during the summer months when the kids no longer get to eat a school.
Several years ago at a children’s camp I was approached by a sponsor who told me a heart wrenching story that brought home to my heart the reality of hunger in America. She told of standing in line for breakfast when a little girl in her cabin looked up and asked, “Is this going to be our only meal for the day?” At first the sponsor could not comprehend the question and then she realize this little girl knew first-hand what it meant to go through the day with only one meal in her little stomach.
This Mother’s Day, we join with our Texas Baptist Family as we determine to raise one million dollars in one day to fight hunger. We will take a special offering that will be used to fight hunger in our city and around the world. We want to do our part in helping to put food on the tables of boys and girls, and to take the heavy burden off the backs of moms and dads who struggle to take care of their families.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus our Lord declared:
“Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” (Matthew 5:42 NIV)
In a city where one out of five of our neighbors live under the looming struggle of “food insecurity”, I believe Jesus wants us to be known for our generosity. Remember we reflect our Father in heaven best when we give especially food to the hungry.
Note: Our church raised over $2500 on Mother’s Day but the need still remains. Our local Kelly Memorial Food pantry is in desperate need of support as more and more people keep coming seeking assistance. Do what you can to help others.