I was with my once-a-month dominoes friends today and we enjoyed discussing important topics like the George Strait concert, the kolache recipe, the Nobel Prize committee’s choice for the Peace Prize, our creeping age, and the McDonald’s going in next to the Louvre. We were trying to figure out, from this side of the Atlantic, why people who are known for their fine cuisine would patronize our fast-food next to their most famous art museum on the other side of the Atlantic. My friend noted that food is everywhere we look nowadays, and was recalling a time when we were small and our parents NEVER took a snack for us when we went shopping or visiting or walking. And we weren’t to complain about being hungry for the duration of the expedition, either. Now, children have food available everywhere they go. How different this life is in just a few decades!
When our stomachs are hungry, this is easy to recognize; we hear growls, feel vibrations, and even have a gnawing sensation amongst the juices and tissues. The solution is food, which, in one form or another, is incredibly available for most people in our country today. But, there is another kind of hunger which is rampant, but rarely recognized. This is the hunger in our souls. Not so easy to identify. We usually interpret the signs of this kind of hunger as boredom, anxiety, loneliness, or anger. We try to feed the pain with more alcohol, another drug, food, a new romance, blame, purchases, entertainment, or exercise. But, the hunger persists. How have we come so far in our ease of living, our generally enlightened viewpoints and level of education, but failed, as a group, to grasp the everyday reality of the soul? A reality well-known to tribal people? A reality respected since the beginning of human history? How can we starve to death without even being aware of it?