Shirin McArthur

prayerful pondering

Trips and Typos

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photo 2(7)An editor may go on vacation, but her brain never does. This past week Henry and I enjoyed some time away, in San Diego and its environs. In a small town in southern California I came across this sign, and couldn’t help noticing that the adjacent parking lot must belong to a famished group of Christians!

Henry suggested that perhaps the misspelling was intentional, and went along with their plea for parking payments to offset their debt. But I doubt that is the case, and imagine that the sign printer just didn’t know about the country called Hungary on the other side of the world, or the Saint Elizabeth whose nationality has become part of her name.

Regardless of the intentionality, the typo caught my attention and tickled my funny bone. It also got me thinking about the fact that we Christians are generally a hungry bunch. For many branches of Christianity, a meal—even if symbolic in nature—is a major element in our weekly worship services. We also tend to have gatherings for fellowship and food after the liturgy, and gather at other times during the week for Bible study, discussion—and more food.

But it is our spiritual need that is at the root of so much of our hunger. We hunger for love in a world that cheapens the meaning of love (see my blog last week for more on that topic). We hunger for meaning in a nation that substitutes activity and achievement for purpose and progress. We hunger to connect with each other in a culture that idolizes individualism at the expense of community and the environment.

In light of all this hunger, I find myself wanting to take advantage of this typo, and add “St. Elizabeth of the Hungry” to the saintly lexicon—that spiritual support network which is the Communion of Saints.

And so today I ask you: for what do you hunger, spiritually? What might this new St. Elizabeth, patroness of the hungry Christian, have to say to you, at this time in your life?

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