The CROP Walk for hunger relief has been a part of my life for many years in the different communities in which I have lived. I walked the CROP Walk vigorously as a young adult, trudged a shortened version of the CROP Walk as a pregnant mom-to-be, pushed an infant all the way in a stroller, walked hand-in-hand with dawdling young children, picked up the pace to keep up with teenagers, and – in recent years – pressed on in spite of aching joints and sore muscles . At our local CROP Walk on September 28, I will take a break from walking, and instead join another pastor from the local community to staff one of the stations along the way. I look forward to offering a cup of cold water and a snack to walkers as they go past! Whether we walk, sponsor a walker with our financial contributions, or find other ways to serve the hungry and thirsty, may we always hunger for justice and thirst for righteousness.
Here is a hymn of dedication by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette for those participating in CROP Hunger Walks:
O God, you send us out to walk,
For faith is more than idle talk;
It’s more than saying, “Be well fed!”
When others don’t have daily bread.
We walk with joyful, eager feet
So others will have food to eat.
We staff the checkpoints, offer rest,
And serve you, Lord, for we’ve been blessed.
When we grow weary, may we know
That some must walk where’er they go.
For water, food, or work to do,
They walk till they grow weary, too.
O Lord, we walk in safety here
And know that others walk in fear.
They flee oppression, flood or war;
Each fear-filled day, they walk some more.
Not all here walk with strength or speed
But all can give to those in need.
And as we serve you, may we know
You walk with us where’er we go.