Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Belated Freeform Friday

This morning I woke up thinking about my grandmother. She passed away a couple years before my grandfather did, in fact, as a family we always assumed the loss of her quickened his own demise.

Even though my grandfather loved my grandmother dearly she was neither a lighthearted nor carefree spirit. Most individuals who got a chance to meet my grandmother would say she was a hard woman, and to an extent they were right, but if they had known of her childhood and how she grew up perhaps they would have understood where her mannerisms and overall demeanor stemmed from.

The reason I am mentioning my grandmother in today’s post, is because she is the only person who truly defined poverty for me, and at a young age to boot. No, she didn’t know she was defining poverty for me, in her mind she was just telling us stories of her childhood and how she grew up those awful years after the war.

Today I hear the term ‘poverty’ thrown about more often than ever before. From more people in America – the land of plenty – descending below the poverty line, to more people than ever before living in poverty, it seems the word itself has lost meaning for many people.

Poverty is not owning one flat screen instead of two, it is not owning one car per family instead of two, true poverty is eating dirt because there is nothing else to eat and you can’t stand to hear your stomach rumble anymore.

Whenever my grandmother would tell us how her and the other girls in the village would eat dirt and see an earthworm as a treat, she would get this haunted look in her eyes that to this day I cannot describe.

Am I trying to make a case for how great things are? No, I’m just trying to open your eyes to the reality that it will get much, much worse.

In this nation we have never known true poverty except perhaps during the great depression, but those who lived through such times are long gone, and we do not believe we will ever see such times again.

Even in a country such as my homeland where people suffered under the iron fist of communism for forty-five years, the younger generation no longer understands why their parents and grandparents always put away cheese, pickle vegetables, cure meats, and other things just so they have some food on hand for any eventuality.

They do not understand it, because even though times got hard, they never had to resort to eating dirt, or tree bark, or grass just to keep from starving.

So what’s the point of today’s post? Am I trying to scare you? Am I starting my own meals ready to eat company and told you this story as a way to drum up business? No. I just woke up thinking about my grandmother, and about the stories she told of when she was a little girl, and decided to share it with you so you might understand the true meaning of hunger, of need, of lack, and of poverty.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.


JMD said...

I appreciate the story of your grandmother. I had grandparents that farmed in the middle of nowhere during the depression with 12 kids. Their children had one pair of shoes and those were saved for school for the year. They had no running water and no indoor bathroom until the day they died.

Did I ever hear them complain? No, they made do or did without. Simple, strong, God fearing people. They taught me a lot without saying anything.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for saying this. Americans need to hear it. It confirms what I felt the Lord telling me years ago, that my giving should go to the poorest of the poor who need it the most, and those are in 3rd world countries, not here. Since that time, that's where it has gone, and to your orphanage,although Romania is not third world. I also want to help the ministries that bless me, and yours does. My father grew up in the Depression and said for a long time all they had to eat was boiled fish heads, from a fish processing factory nearby. Even that is gourmet food compared to dirt and worms. We think we know what it is to have "problems", but we don't. Not yet anyway. But I have a feeling we will.

Anonymous said...

I'd heard the stories in my youth from my grandparents and father about the depression and watched "The Walton's" later on in years, but I still cannot comprehend it's reality.

After a truck accident injured my father, at 11 years of age I being the oldest had to go to work cleaning doctors offices, beauty and barber shops just to help mother put food on the table and pay the bills. I had to take one day a month off of school and stand in a line starting at 4 in the morning to get our month's allotment of food, due to the fact that if they ran out of anything before your turn, you didn't get any till the following month. There were no such things as food stamps or bridge cards then. We used powdered milk that was given us on our oatmeal, as we couldn't afford fresh milk often. I had to wash dishes in the school cafateria, so we children could eat free lunches at school, being the oldest I was also responsible for the care of the younger children. We grew what we could in our small garden and canned what we could out of it. We also had to eat a couple of our chickens and enjoyed fresh eggs.

We cooked on a small 2 burner stove in the winter, that we heated the house with, to help conserve on the electric bill.

People at church called us poor, but we didn't know what that word meant, we enjoyed daily living as it happened. No, we never had to eat dirt and I don't mean to be demeaning on this matter. We lived and survived and I feel that God made us strong in those times in preparation for the days ahead.

I too am called hard and I hate that reference of me, but it's an unfortunate not realized learned way from life and experience.

As I now write and think back on those days I'd forgotten about, I realize at this moment how selfish, wasteful and conplacent I've become in my comfortable way of living. No we don't have it as easy as some others, but we at this time are not without need, the days have been softer for us than those from my youth.

May we keep our eyes on Him, as the days of "I want" goes into yesterday and tomorrow becomes "I need".

Thank you for your thoughts Bro. Micheal.

Barbara said...

Food is a cultural thing. If you are Native American, you might know how to forage and live off the land in the wild. Italians would learn to cook and take basic ingredients like dandelions and potatoes and make a good meal of them. Storing up ffod in case of emergency is a good idea also.

There are many skllls that you can put to use to keep yourself fed. In the end, if God can provide food for the sparrows, he says not to worry what you will eat yourself because he can surely provide food for his children.

You may not have every luxury, but enough food is something that I think God is willing to provide.