by John McKain

Living in a Hungry World
John McKain

What is hunger? According to the writings of Kamala Markandoya, a native who nearly died of starvation, hunger is a curious thing. At first it is with you all the time, waking and sleeping and in your dreams--you scheme, you plan, you steal--not for relish or some delightful delicacies-- but just for a crust of bread, a bit of rice, a small morsel left on someone's plate.

Then your belly begins to cry out insistently, hour after hour, and day after day--until there comes a gnawing and growing pain as if your very vitals were being devoured. You know you must stop it at any cost. Sometimes you can buy a moment's respite by begging a bowl of gruel, but you know and fear what follows a little while later--when emptiness returns, and the same terrifying cycle is repeated again.

After awhile the pain is no longer sharp--but dull, and this too is with you always, so that your constant thought is of nothing but food all through the heat of the day and the darkness of the night. Each time a terrible sickness assails you, and because you know this you try to avoid the thought, but you cannot, it is with you--part of every waking moment and restless- -dream filled night.

Finally--that too is gone, all pain, all desire, only a great emptiness is left. Like the dust around you, you try to rise and find you cannot, or to swallow water and your throat is powerless, and both the swallow and the effort of retaining the liquid, tax you to the uttermost. It's too hard to cry. . .to hopeless to care. . .finally the dull haze fades and you silently slip out into the deep dark unknown emptiness of death.

Jesus said, speaking of the judgment between those who are saved and those who are lost,

"Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of by Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was hungry, and you gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a ...

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