The Empty Plate Experience
Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been talking about how we can be overwhelmed by the massive amount of poverty in our world. The antidote to this overwhelming feeling called "compassion fatigue" is to focus on a single life of someone living in extreme poverty, and then do something about it, even if it is a small action.
In the past, we've talked about the fears of giving, and looking at the promises God makes to those who help people living in poverty. These promises help us to overcome the fears of releasing money from our bank account and put it into action to help those in need.
One of the things we haven't talked much about is how we can help our children grow in this kind of compassion for the needy. My wife and I were brainstorming about this, and one of the things we thought we would do is place an empty plate on the table... a special plate that we set out during two different holiday meals, Thanksgiving and Easter.
Now, I actually have a plate that comes from one of our feeding programs. And this empty tin plate for us, represents the poor in our world struggling with hunger. While we are busy preparing our holidays feasts, there are six hundred million people who on this upcoming holiday will not have a meal, nor any food at all that entire day.
So, we wanted to set this plate out, not as a way to make us feel guilty or to think, "Hey, we've got this table full of food, and we're stuffing ourselves, while others go hungry." No, not at all.
The plate should help us remember that we are blessed to have enough food on the table to feed us all. God has blessed us!
All these blessings that we have, creates a spirit of gratitude and so you might say, "What can we do for those who don't have all that we have during this holiday?"