Reflections on the Mutunga Challenge

19 03 2007

By Grace Boettcher


Feb 21-28… This week I am trying out the $2 of food/day challenge. I made my list including ingredients for a soup, some cheese, beans, rice, and burritos. Bananas and carrots are my fruits and veggies. But now as I sit down in front of my very small burrito I cannot help but look for salsa in the fridge, the one that’s been kept there since the beginning of time. I’m not cheating, really, I’m allowing more room in the fridge…

I space out my food supply, making sure I have enough to last me till the end of the week. Unfortunately, my stomach is not very happy with this new diet and I usually make it to mid afternoon before I get the shakes, can’t focus on my work and my energy sinks to below sub level. The logical solution: indulge in a cup of coffee. By the time dinner rolls around I am convulsing and have nothing but broth and veggies to calm me down. I begin to wonder if some ice cream that has also been in the freezer since the beginning of time would cure my problem. Again, allowing for more room in the freezer. When I hit the hay I am weak and am not able to think straight, but I dread getting up in the morning to face the one fried egg and half a banana that will fill me up for the morning.

In the land of plenty, I should not be going to bed hungry. That is the logical conclusion my mind jumps to. I should indulge along with the richest of the rich. My frustration increases throughout the week because I realize how much I do indulge, in fact, I indulge all the time. My lifestyle is one of the most comfortable and indulging lifestyles there are compared to these people who have nothing, and not even the possibility of anything. I am also frustrated because I am so dependent on my indulgences. I do not know how to live without them, how to maneuver my way around them, how to live with less in a society that screams “you NEED this!”

The end of the week has rolled around and I unfortunately do not have the successful results of some. In fact, mine are quite opposite. In this defeat I go back to the source of the challenge: to identify with the poor. I am quite incapable of living like the poor, but I am capable of living in simplicity. I have learned that I can look beyond my immediate need and find Christ loving me because I am so poor in spirit. Maybe this week has helped prepare me for something greater.




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