I was nearly speechless. Nearly.
A news broadcast revealed that somewhere in the United States of America, we now have the school food police.
Not just to check on the USDA approved menu items and whether or not they are offered in the appropriate quantities; but to inspect -- and pass judgment on -- whatever is packed in a child's lunchbox from home.
I think, in my heart, I am always going to be a school lunch lady, thanks to the lunch ladies at Valley View Elementary, in Denver, Colorado in 1966 and 67.
The family was slowly recovering from the devastating effects of Mom and Dad's separation, and finances must have been a nightmare. A hot lunch was $.25. The smell alone was enough to turn my tummy to nothing but grumbles as the clock crawled closer to noon. I absolutely lusted after those hot lunches. Somehow, those lunch ladies knew whether or not I held the precious quarter on this day or that, because on the days I didn't, my help was always needed in the kitchen. I didn't do much more than wipe the counters off and maybe peel a potato or a carrot. Sometimes I helped serve. Whatever the chore, my pay was a school tray laden with more potatoes, meat, gravy, rolls, and fruited jello than anyone could hope to eat, and I was satisfied.
I happily spent 12 years working in the kitchens and in the offices of the District 27J Child Nutrition Unit in Brighton, Colorado, now my second-best job -- ever. Feed the children? You bet I will!
But this goes too far. The camera showed a school lunch box, packed with a turkey sandwich, some juice and a piece of fruit. This lunch was declared unsuitable, was taken from the child, who was then served the hot lunch of the day (I think it was chicken nuggets) and the family billed for the price of the meal.
How much more of this can the country stand?
One of the arguments used against Christianity by atheists and agnostics, is that religion, the Law, is too restrictive and too intrusive. People still chafe at the thought that God would dare to be intimately involved in our lives, in our bedrooms, even in what we secretly hold sacred in our hearts. And the thought that an all-knowing, all-seeing, righteous and holy Supreme Being could be in on those things held most secret or sacred is simply unthinkable.
This school food police thing is just one example, of far too many, of how far into a person's life the government is willing to go in order to achieve complete compliance. And one has to wonder, to what end? I know the bullet points well enough by now. " But it's for the children so that they will be healthy, happy ... fill in the blank!" Parents and people with eyes to see have been looking out for the children since children first appeared. And long after the government has moved on to the next pet project of the next administration, we with eyes to see will still be looking out for the children.
If they want to make school lunch mandatory -- apply it across the board, no exceptions and then provide sufficient means to make that meal healthy and satisfying. But get your noses out of that lunchbox. You cannot know every back story packed in amongst the bologna and bread.
Men simply cannot be trusted. They have proven it time and again and continue to prove it yet today. Though they may have good intent at the outset, knowledge is power and their school trays simply won't hold enough to satisfy. Power is addictive. Once you taste it, you want more, then a little bit more and so on until finally, the lust for power and the corruption it breeds, consumes and corrupts, absolutely. Yet, it is to these men the people of world turn, to satisfy man's innate desire for providence, parity and protection.
The reason that the judgment of God alone is altogether righteous, altogether just and altogether true is because he, and he alone, is all-knowing and all-seeing. The One who sees and judges the heart of man, knows each man's heart. He knows the back story no one else can see, the closed-off portions of any man's heart, the strong walls of protection erected within it designed to protect it; the granite rocks piled high to shield it from further pain.
He also knows the many times he has provided comfort and healing, the sunrises and sunsets he has painted to touch that wounded heart, the myriad opportunities he has provided to each man to turn away from the useless idols the world provides, and to return to him, the One who has loved him from first thought. Also, the Lord God does not delight in the destruction of the wicked, as men are wont to do each time they parade out the worst of the worst as an example as to why they need this law or that.
Only God can rightly judge and it is his desire to bathe his judgment in mercy. My heart, my life, including my back story, are safe in him. But woe to me or to anyone who sees a need and fails to meet it when the resources have been placed in their hands.
"Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the Lord our God." Psalm 20:7 (NIV)
I don't have all the answers, but I know the One who does. Let's walk together for awhile and discover Him together.