Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hunger, The Hunger Games, And Ahnalin

Ahnalin loves to read.

She loves to go to the library.

Every Thursday, we go to the library
to check out books and read to dogs.
A wonderful, local organization trains support dogs
and brings the dogs to the library so the children
can read to them. 

Almost every time we visit the library,
there is at least one homeless person near the door.

We talk to them.

I don't always have money to share,
but we always talk to them. 

Today, before we left for the library,
Ahnalin asked if she could take an extra apple
and cheese stick.

I said yes, but asked why.

She said, "Mama, every time we go,
we always see hungry people asking for food.
We don't always have money to give them,
but I want to have some food to give."

I got a little teary,  but I agreed.

We didn't see anyone waiting outside the library 
as we went in.

But Ahnalin asked me to hold the food
while she read to the dogs,
because she wanted to make sure we had it 
on the way out. 

So while she read,
I smocked.
And the food was sitting on the table
next to me. 

A woman stood near the table.
She was talking to a young teen about "The Hunger Games"
movie and book series.

She turned to me and asked if I had seen the movie,
or read the books.

I said no, as they are really not my style.

She explained that she felt they were important
books for young adults and parents to read.
She felt that they were helpful
so that readers could think for themselves
how they would live in a "dystopian society".

She spoke of the need to have firm beliefs
in the event of famine and corrupt society.

She spoke of the absence of moral absolutes.

She told me that she is the mother of teenagers
and felt her children learned a great deal
about themselves from the books.


She then spied the apple and cheese stick.

She asked about them, as eating is not allowed
in the library.

I explained about Ahnalin
wanting to have them to give to a hungry person.
I told her that Ahnalin knew we often
give money to people in need,
but didn't always have it.
But she wanted to be prepared 
with food if we encountered someone today. 

She looked uncomfortable.

She told me that she felt it was not a good idea.

She told me that she made a point of never
carrying cash so that she could honestly
say she didn't have any if a homeless person
asked for money. 

Because then she wouldn't be lying. 

She didn't think I should allow Ahnalin to give
food (or money) to the people on the street.

She felt that "They were better served 
by agencies."

I was shocked!

I said that she was just telling
me of the important lessons of 
"The Hunger Games"
and this was an important lesson.

She said it was different. 


Ahnalin heard none of this, 
as she was happily reading to the dogs.
You see, this is personal to Ahnalin.

Even though she is very well fed and healthy now,
I know that her soul remembers hunger.

For months after we brought her home
from China, she would pry my mouth 
open and take food out of it to stuff
in her own mouth.

It didn't matter how much we fed her,
she could never seem to be full.

She was terrified of being hungry
and alone. 

Ahnalin has her R.A.D. moments,
but her heart hurts for those in need.

after she was finished reading to the dogs,
she came over and picked up the food,
along with her library books.

As we checked out the books,
she looked out the window
to see if there was anyone outside waiting. 

There was no one waiting today.

Once we got into the van,
she told me that she was sad because she 
wanted to give the food to a hungry person.

As we rounded the corner, 
she spied a young woman with a sign.


Ahnalin yelled

We had never seen this particular girl before,
but she was hungry. 

Ahnalin rolled down the window 
and handed her the food.

The girl smiled and said
"God Bless You Little One."

Ahnalin said "God bless you too."

As we drove away, 
Ahnalin said 
"Feeding hungry people makes my heart happy!"

Then she said,
"Mama, are you crying AGAIN?" 

I said "Yes, but it is happy crying."

I am grateful that my little one is listening 
to what Jesus tells us to do.
I am grateful that she gives out of her heart
instead of holding back in fear.

I still haven't read
"The Hunger Games".

I may or may not. 
(I prefer my Jane Austen,
Anne of Green Gables, and other
girly goodies.)

But I hope my children are learning
the important lessons of how to treat others.

Matthew 25:35, 40
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat,
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,
I was a stranger and you invited me in....... 
..............The King will reply,
"I tell you the truth, whatever you did
for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine,
you did for me."


~Regina~ said...

What a beautiful story! To me this lesson was way more important than The Hunger Games. To be perfectly honest, it frightens me to see how much our culture is enjoying it. I have read countless reviews and excerpts from the book and could never agree that it would be a wholesome book for my teens to read. But that's just my opinion. :).

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Donna said...

I have tears, too- happy ones. Children see things simply and Jesus said we need to become like little children to enter His kingdom. Thank you for sharing this and reminding us of simple truth! Ahnalin is a such a treasure!

Debby said...

Happy Tears here. She is a special girl. When we adopted our son he had also gone without food from an early age. WOuld you believe his first week of life. We haf issues alot about food. When he would meet people he would ask,"How big is your refrigerator"......seriously I didn't make that up.
When you first started telling about the woman, I was thinking she was out of line telling you that you should read THG. I know so many are just going crazy about the books and the movie. But, I have no desire. I don't tell those people they should't like it so why does she think she can tell others they should. Then to ask about the apple and cheese. What? What a weird person. So glad that you found somone to give it to. Great lesson for all of us.

Mrs. Bianca said...

The absolute innocence of children. When it comes right down to it, we share what we have. There's plenty for us all and we just need to share. What a beautiful heart she has and what a wonderful soul you've helped to grow.

Thank you for sharing this story today. Please give Ahnalin a nice hug!

Stacy said...

Anhalin is a special little girl. How wonderful that she is so empathetic to others. Give her a big hug from me for being such a dear little heart. :)

As I have read THG, I have to say that lady didn't learn much from them. They are good books and really shines a light on our consumerist society. However, they are not at all cheerful and the ending wasn't really uplifting. If you read for pure enjoyment, then they would not be for you. :)

Anonymous said...


Karen said...

What a beautiful little soul your sweetie has! You are doing a wonderful job with her. My 18 year old daughter has read the books and both my teens have seen the movie. From what I understand, they might be too mature and disturbing for such a delicate young child. Perhaps when she is older, because the book does have something to give. As for feeding the hungry personally, Jesus said that whatever you do for the least of these you do for me. I guess, if we follow Him, we feed the hungry.

Jan said...

There is definitely something to be said for those who have a kind and giving personality and those who don't. And Ahnalin made a choice to do something nice for someone else. It wasn't prompted by you, but her choice. The woman who made the unkind remarks would have taken away your daughter's choice of doing something kind. Her choice made a difference in someone's life. There are alot of selfish people in the world these days. Since I work in retail, lots of customers say there are not very many who will do something nice just to do something nice. I hope Ahnalin never changes her attitude, because it's a very good one.

Meredith said...

Wow! Ahnalin is an amazing little girl with an amazing family!

Jenny Jo said...

What a great story about your daughter's generosity and sensitive heart! It must be so wonderful to see the fruits of what you teach your children play out in their lives!! And I also would take Jane Austen and L.M.Montgomery over just about anybody else!!

Anna Brewer said...

I can't believe someone would preach to you that you NEED to read the hunger games because of the messages' it has and then in the same breath say you shouldn't help out a fellow human. I read the hunger games, and it's good, but a little gruesome, and not for everyone. I don't think the message was loud like the lady implied. I'm so proud and happy for Ahnalin's generous heart. You are an excellent Mama to her and the world is blessed to have people like you and Ahnalin in it.

Debbie B said...

I havent read the Hunger books either, but I think you are teaching Ahnalin lessons from the best book - the Bible. She has a wonderful, generous heart.