Lent 2013: We’re Cheating Before We’ve Even Begun.
February 4, 2013 7 Comments
That was the thought that ran through my mind as I pulled our “blueberry snowflakes” out of the freezer for this morning’s breakfast. Blueberry snowflakes are the blueberries we purchased in bulk last July and froze in gallon bags.
At the time, our grocery budget was being well supplemented by our garden, so spending $40 on enough blueberries to get us through the Fall and Winter months… well, it wasn’t easy, but it was manageable. Then there are the 30 lbs. of sliced peaches we picked over the summer, paying for them out of our “family fun” line in the budget. Realistically, how many families who receive governmental food benefits have enough living space to afford a basement chest freezer in which to store bulk fruits and vegetables? How many of those families even have a budget for family fun?
What other ways are we already given a head start on feeding five with $90/week? We have a pantry shelf in our basement where we can store homemade jams and dried herbs. We have cabinets across from that shelf where we can store dried pasta and other nonperishables purchased every four months on our trip to a somewhat distant grocery outlet. How many families have the time and gasoline resources to take such a trip? I’ve already mentioned all our kitchen robots on which I rely almost daily. Realistically, how many of the working poor have any of those things? Heck, as much as I hate (and I really do mean hate) gardening, have I ever really stopped to think of what a resource it is just to have the dirt available to us in which we can plant not one but two garden patches?
I realize that, no matter how hard we try to deny it, our family has advantages that others don’t. Even in the admittedly artificial circumstances of our Lent 2013 Challenge, we are blessed more than most. To deny that would be foolish. Still, we will try, because there will be learning in the trying, and anything that develops our empathy for others can only be a good thing.
Look in your kitchen. Look around your house. Look outside. What luxuries do you have that you take for granted every day? How many of those luxuries would help another family not as rich as yours? I know, I know: any family living on just one income (especially any fellow papists who’ve been more blessed with fertility than I have)–you’re bristling at being called “rich.” Still I ask you, really, what do you have? What can you share?