I shocked my family last week when they opened the freezer to find fish sticks in place of our ice cubes. My family turned to me with astonishment and asked, “who’s going to eat them?” I think this was the first time I’ve ever bought them. But I had a hunger for them, checked the calories and said, “why not!”
Fish sticks and macaroni and cheese were the Friday night mainstays when I was growing up. Following our religion, there was no meat on Friday, and my mom would make her mac and cheese, which I had never figured out. But the fish sticks were from the freezer section at the market. The word ‘hunger’ is used for food, for basics or for moments of nostalgia like this one.
Additionally, the word ‘hunger’ explains the human needs of the community. These deep human needs appear even in business journals, employee engagement surveys, writings on DEI, etc.
How do we spot these hunger pangs? How do we feed them? The answer to that question defines our vocation, the purpose where our deep gladness is realized.
The deep hunger of the world is different from the trappings of life. The desire is not for things, and the deepest desires have no price tag. No special education, background, or experience will feed these hunger fits. These hungers often sit in our faces, and we don’t notice them.
What are they? Here are my thoughts:
We hunger for belonging
We hunger for peace
We hunger for learning
We hunger to be seen
We hunger for purpose
You will search human hunger for so many lists, 6 or 10 or 12, talking about foods and drinks. But I want us to think about the other desires. I want us to look for those who cannot be easily seen or understood. These deep hungers all reflect inclusion. There is no hunger for segregation, of being kept apart or disconnected. As we look at our work and each other’s work, let’s pursue that high-order work, the vocation, committed to finding and remaining in the place where our deep gladness meets the world’s great hunger.