Children of all ages lined the streets, their happy faces sticky with sugar, their eyes hopeful, their fingers grasping old grocery bags. Each one waited for that moment when someone wearing a clown suit or riding on the back of a classic car or sitting on a float would send a handful of Tootsie Rolls, caramels and SweeTARTs flying their way.
Most of us love a parade, especially on the Fourth of July. It gives us a chance to come together as a community in support of our country. And we don’t think much of it when our kids walk away from the parade route with a bag full of candy.
Yet for many, that kind of generosity is a luxury. It’s hard to comprehend a world where fifty million orphans go to bed hungry every night when we’re trying to make sure our kids don’t eat too much. A world where for some, one ear of corn is a feast while we hide candy on the top shelf hoping the little ones will forget it’s there.
Don’t get me wrong—my goal is not to send those of us who have been given much on a guilt trip but, rather, to let this be a reminder that we are blessed. And with that blessing comes a certain responsibility.
A friend of mine spoke of the winning float at their small town’s Independence Day parade—one that had Spider-Man swinging in to stop a robbery, leading to cheers from those watching. Spider-Man’s trademark motto has long been “With great power comes great responsibility.” I would simply change “power” to “blessing.”
It’s okay to enjoy the blessings of summer—the parades and cotton candy, the days at the beach and the nights under the stars, the flip-flops and swimsuits and ice cream. But in our abundance, if we can each send off a check to help feed at least one hungry child, won’t that make our days that much sweeter?