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One man's pizza
by Christopher Jenyns
08/28/08
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A man sitting by the wayside of a busy Melbournian street was contemplating the vastness of space and his place within it. He was begging for food, but his mind had drifted from the hunger at hand. Now he was thinking about far greater food than man could offer.

It was some time sitting there, when a young man passed by and, seeing the sign, said "Are you going to be here for the next twenty minutes?"

"Sure," said the hungry, starving man. For a moment things came into focus. For a moment, the man could see his life meaning something to someone else for the next twenty minutes. It was a busy street; this was unexpected, but it was good.

Twenty minutes later, the young man returned with a steaming hot pizza. For a moment, the man did not know what to say. "There," said the young man and he knelt down to give the man his pizza.

"Do you want a slice?" the hungry man offered.

"Sure, thanks," said the young man and they ate together. As they ate the beggar thought about the sense of meaning that he had wanted when he had begun to contemplate space.

Now he had pizza to eat and in his soul, the hungry man said "That about fills the space I had inside me, the hunger." And he looked at the empty space where a slice had been, that he had now given to the young man. "If only I knew what that space meant to him."

For a moment they simply ate.

It wasn't long before the young man got up to walk away and said "Ok, enjoy it! See you later." And he started away. And the hungry man realized that he had the whole pizza to himself.

"That's what I wanted to know," said the beggar to himself. "I do have meaning in that vast space of the universe and here I am, I have given a slice of my precious pizza to someone else and for the whole day I will have shared it with him and do you know, it looks like someone is coming his way, an angel, and he'll be remembered and there's something about him that I want to know, like what will he do having had the pizza slice that he had, he'll do something good, that man's life is in order under God, that man is as free as a bird and there is God, talking to me, saying "My son, you are of much more value to me than many sparrows" and I know He will love me forever."

And for a moment, that was God that had blessed that man, and for an eternal moment, that young man possessed the day like he had never possessed it before and for eternity, that homeless man would look every single person he ever saw in the eye, with compassion, compassion that cities are built on, compassion that sweeps across a nation changing every life it touches, compassion that reaches even the beasts and the birds of the field and the air and it would never be forgotten.

And the sun set. And the air cooled. And the city went quiet. And night was over the city. And there in the night, in a secluded place, where noone would be compelled to look, were the words on which these events were based, spoken by a man named Jesus, saying "A city on a hill cannot be hid" who did all these things and a thousand thousand more, such that really, really, when it came down to it, you would say "That was a small thing that that young man did, really, when you look at it".

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