Saturday, October 06, 2007


Just some preliminary groundwork:

Just guessing here. Because I don't know for a fact:
I'd say that the woman on the left has not fed herself or her son because there is not enough food in her area to sustain a healthy weight for herself and a nurturing weight for her child.

Just guessing here. Because I don't know for a fact:
I'd say that the woman on the right has intentionally withheld food from herself out of a desire to be as thin as possible, believing her pictured physical state to be glamorous and beautiful.

Some psychological research has indicated that eating disorders are a mental disease and not a lifestyle choice.

An incorrect deduction would presume that the woman on the left and her child have an eating disorder. If you call a serious lack of food in their local geographical region an eating disorder, I would agree. But in fact, I do not agree.

Just guessing here. Because I don't know for a fact:
I'd say the woman on the right has an eating disorder.

All three appear malnourished. All three appear to be at some level of starvation. The difference, I would say, between the mother and son, and the "model" is intention. Yet the result is the same.

Now, take a mother or father (or both) who withhold food from their children to the point that the children become starved and malnourished. This mother and father, in fact, love their children, and believe they are doing them a good service. As in the parents who don't believe in giving their children modern medicine. And the woman in Texas who drowned her children to save them from Satan. And these children die.

And the woman on the left's child dies from being withheld food, but not by the mother's choice. By the circumstances of her environment.

Which child's death is more tragic to God? Does God hold all the parents above equally responsible in these children's deaths? Well, of course we're not gonna know that till we get up there. Assuming that's where we're all going. Because I don't know that for a fact. And assuming we remember to ask the question.

Which child's death is more tragic in your eyes? Are any of these child deaths preventable?

What would you do if you had just written a very large donation check to a mission in the Sudan to feed the starving people there, and then went to church and sat behind a family of obviously starving people, dressed in designer clothes who you knew to be affluent and watched their children stumble and fall from weakness on the way up to the children's sermon?

Which starving people are more tragic? Don't get me wrong. I absolutely believe in and support missions to Darfur and the Sudan and other areas of extreme poverty where all the people, including the children are suffering tragically. Through no fault of their own.

And the other side of the spectrum, the starving affluent, certainly can afford to choose differently. And yet they don't. And there does not seem to be any kind of "Unicef" or outreach program to help them and their children. We leave it to the courts. Who, only generally speaking here, take the children away from the poorer families and leave the ones who hire the expensive intimidating attorneys to return to the food withholding dysfunction they came from.

I would suggest that society and church needs to find a way to engage these families and help them heal as a family. Except, not my church, OK? They're worried about liability. Yours may well be too.

I'm just asking these questions:

~How do we as a society deal with the starvation of children and the self imposed starvation of teenagers and adults. Is it possible that the deaths of these children are swept under the carpet because of the "intention", even though the result is the same?

~How do we as a church, trying to obey Mark 7:27 "Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs." And do this in such a way as to also minister to the parents who do this. In other words, help heal the family?

Throwing large amounts of money at this will not heal these problems. Large amounts of money tend to attract corruption. Though money is surely needed in areas like the Sudan. To buy food and distribute it safely to where it is needed. How do we raise the awareness of our social consciousness and church consciousness to think outside the box to find solutions. Jesus told us that we would always have the poor with us. I don't believe that means they have to starve.

But then again, as Jodie pointed out in a comment on my "Foothill Blogger" post,

What do we as a society and a church do about this?


Cathy said...

You ask some very difficult questions which have some very difficult answers. I would not even want to begin to figure out the solution.

My quick solution would be to reformat some folks' hard drives (meaning their brains) to take care of the very sick minds. Wish it were as easy as that.

Very difficult questions, my dear friend. In many ways our society is very sick.

Wyldth1ng said...

Sometimes doing what is right is hard, that is why the majority does not do it.

People see the problem, but do nothing.

Actions will always speak louder than words.

MayB MayB Not said...

such hard questions ... we don't have time to go there ... gotta fight over who we ordain, sorry!

("all it takes for evil to exist is for good people to do nothing")

Diane said...

very hard and necessary questions, but we have to keep looking in the mirrors and know that what wildthing says is true. there are all kinds of starvation.

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

Still we are left with what to do? Such soul searching.

Anonymous said...

It's a fine line, isn't it? Killing children by starvation on one side, to killing them by feeding them junk on the other.

SpookyRach said...


Songbird said...

It's shocking how out of balance we are as a world.

Presbyterian Gal said...

Songbird: I believe you have hit the cause on the head. We are so out of balance. And the sad sad evidence is what this is doing to our children. Which is, in these cases, killing them. And we do love our children. For me, that makes it feel worse.

Kievas: It is most definitely a fine line. When did we cross it? Well, that doesn't matter. Neither does the finger pointing.

Perhaps it's a matter of each of us individually bringing ourselves back to balance, and then our small communities and then the world.

No wonder the Amish keep away.

Lorna said...

thought-provoking post. Thanks.