Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Break (02/06/06)
TITLE: Taking a Lunch Break
By Brenda Kern
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The boy was happy to think that the Teacher would be eating his lunch. He knew the Man had been busy since morning, first crossing the sea, then teaching and healing the people.
He knew because he had seen it all, running along the shore with the crowds and scurrying through to get a better view.
And what an amazing day it had been! First, he had never seen so many people together at the same time, ever! He wondered if they were all here for the same reason he was: sheer fascination. He had heard about the healings, and knew whispers floated from house to house that this Man was a prophet, maybe even our next king.
He had left home in the hushed hours of the morning with only one goal in mind: he wanted to see a miracle. So, he had set out on this great adventure, hoping to find someone who would know where the Man was. He emerged from an alley just in time to overhear a snippet of conversation, and fell in behind a cluster of people with the same plan for the day as he had.
He had expected to be impressed with the Man's appearance, but was mildly disappointed. He's just a normal man, he thought, and wondered if he had been following the wrong crowd. Eventually a trembling person approached, asking to be healed, and the boy observed with keen interest. Nothing spectacular happened: no lightning flashed, no voice spoke from heaven. He couldn't even really tell, just by looking, that anything had truly happened.
When the first healing that he could see occurred, his mouth dropped open so far he heard cracking noises from the muscles in his jaw! This was it, what he had been waiting for! Healing after healing and miracle after miracle made his head spin, and his young mind made a mighty effort to understand the faith that was dawning in his heart.
Some murmuring in the crowd brought back to him his own thoughts from previous days: "This isn't what it seems."
"There's some kind of trickery going on here."
The boy stared harder at the hands of the Man, and leaned in even closer, scrutinizing the interaction for something, anything... But why? He KNEW the truth, he could see it, he was a witness.
He was also listening intently, soaking up every word the Man said. These were not the usual boring speeches one might hear from an adult, but stories that even he, a child, could understand. The world of parents, friends, chores, and schooling fell away, forgotten. He was in the presence of... Someone different, Someone powerful, Someone...
...Someone now asking His disciples about food, because it was late in the day. The boy looked up and around himself, for the first time in hours, it seemed, and realized how quickly the time had passed. He remembered his lunch, and instantly wanted to give it to the Master. His own sudden hunger didn't matter; he just wanted to give Jesus what he had to give, though it wasn't much.
"Yes, I'll give what I have."
When the disciples commented to Jesus that this much food wouldn't go far in a crowd of this size, he almost laughed. The boy said nothing, though, as he handed over his meal, and they, in turn, gave it to Jesus. He encouraged the crowd to sit, gave thanks, then began to break the loaves and distribute the fish through His disciples.
The boy looked on. He watched those hands, rough and worn, strong and able, and began to understand that those hands could break more than just bread--they could crush disease and shatter despair and sever fear from the depths of a man. Those hands also held so much more than loaves and fish--they held everything: healing, hope, promise, change. He could not look away, but not out of skepticism this time. He could not eat, though there was plenty.
He could only worship, with all his heart, in the presence of the Great King.
I want everyone to know who Jesus is, he thought. How do I do that? I can't write a book--I'm not even grown yet. I can't pay someone to spread the word: I don't have anything to give. All I have are His words and what I learned today.
Aloud, he said again, "Yes, I'll give what I have."
See Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:30-44, Luke 9:10-17, and John 6:1-13.
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