Today is Shrove Tuesday. Better known as Mardi Gras if you live in New Orleans. For dinner tonight, we’re having pancakes.
Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. The pancakes tonight are our family’s last hurrah for sugar, from which we will be fasting during the weeks ahead. This is hard for us because, let me tell you, we love our sugary carbs. We have cookies or cake or donuts or biscuits with Nutella or toast with honey almost every day.
We fasted from sugar last Advent as well. I must confess I was tempted to break my fast more than I like to admit. But when fasting, the temptation to sneak a cookie is a call to prayer. I expect in this season of Girl Scout fundraising, I will be praying a lot.
I have decided to focus my prayers on people who are hungry in Guatemala. Through Compassion International, we sponsor a child who lives in the Guatemalan Highlands. During Lent, each time my sweet tooth starts clamoring for attention, I will pray for this little girl, her family, her community.
I don’t claim to understand how prayer works. I only know that, somehow, it changes things. As my friend Susan says, it adds something to the equation that wasn’t there before.
It is also the one thing I can do right now, this moment, for someone hungry and hurting halfway around the world.
Someday, I may be able to do more. But in this season of my life, with young children and nursing babies, I am glad to know that I can do something, and the something I can do is to hold a child and her family and her community in my heart and keep bringing my heart to God, asking for Him to bless these, His beloved children, with all that they need.
It is not nearly enough.
And it is more than enough.