Archive for September, 2012

What is Wrong With This Picture?

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

At a recent meeting of diocesan leaders of outreach projects, those attending were placed into small groups to discuss their experiences. We were particularly asked to evaluate whether our programs were contributing to the growth and development of those we served, or whether we were simply creating a culture of dependency.

One woman in my group has worked in a large church dinner program for 16 years. A three-course meal is served, carefully cooked and planned to provide maximum dietary benefit. Recently, however, some guests have been asking for vegetarian options–even though only one of the many items offered on a given evening would be meat, there was always salad, etc.

The woman recognized that her program wasn’t serving the starving, of whom there are very few in America. But she wondered how hungry these people could be if they could be so demanding of their free cuisine. She asked, “What is wrong with this picture?”

Food for thought, as we try to serve the poor in Christ’s name. —J. Douglas Ousley