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Our county has produced a poet laureate of Tennessee, a federal judge, numerous professionals, and some of the most responsible and godly people I have ever known. However, we also have people living in extreme poverty, people for whom poverty is a multi-generational experience. Many of these people are also godly.

Last Sunday morning I stopped to say hello to some ladies who were chatting in the back of the auditorium. They were discussing the beginning of our local public school year this week. One of them, who works in the county education office, said that our county had gotten free breakfast and lunch again, so that was good. In our county every child — whether rich or poor, whatever the family income — gets free breakfast and lunch every day. One of the ladies, who is a college administrator and also a great benefactress in our county, told about a person who is working on a program that would provide free food delivered to children at home during the summer. The other lady told about a poor young mother who recently told her that she was glad school was starting back because it is so expensive to feed children during the summer. My heart breaks for that young mother. She is in a tough spot. I know her and I believe that she is doing the very best she knows how.

I remember being in our kitchen in Oxford, Mississippi, when I was a new mother of my first child and being grateful that I had food to give him. My heart breaks for women who are not confident that they can provide this most basic need for their children. My heart also breaks because many of those women grew up in homes where they did not learn how to feed their own children — how to wait until they are married to have children so that there are two people providing for them, how to cook meals for those children, how to make money stretch so that basic needs can be met, how to budget time so that basic tasks are done, how to nurture a marriage, how to take care of what they have so they don’t have to spend money on more . . . . The list goes on and on.

Today let’s be grateful for God’s most basic blessings.

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She rises also while it is still night
And gives food to her household.
Proverbs 31:15

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