Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Different Kind of Charity

As we have walked this city from one end to the other an ridden along the countryside through the western half of this beautiful country called Latvia, I am continually struck with the thought…what if we did this in America? Everywhere you go you will see fruit trees which are planted along the side of the road. Not just one or two trees, but trees which many times line the roads on both side. It doesn’t matter if there are houses around or not…there are still fruit trees or vegetables along the side of the road. They are there for anyone to stop and partake of. I have seen a hundred meters of cabbage planted in the midst of a wheat field. Sometimes there is just a little garden planted near a bus stop, a patch of asparagus left to spread. All of this just left there for those who need it.

Sure, there may be some who stop and take advantage of the charity and pick more than they need so they can sell it at the market…but is that wrong? At least they worked to harvest it and then to sell it. Think about this as well…for those who need the food, they also have to work to prepare it or to store it for the long winter ahead.

If we as a country or we as believers were to put hands and feet to our charity and plant charity gardens or line our property with charity trees…how many people could we really feed? I would dare guess there would be more than enough for every needy person, and the benefit of a more healthy lifestyle of eating would also drive down the need for so much public medicine. There is much we can learn from others…once again, just my rambling thoughts.

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