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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Hunger (11/08/04)

TITLE: My Soul Is Satisfied
By Barbie Jones


I grew up in America in the 1960’s & ‘70’s in a house full of women; my grandmother (matriarch), my mother, an aunt and her daughter. My mother and aunt worked as domestic engineers (housekeepers). My cousin who was eight years older always did things I was ‘too young to understand’, so we were not close. My grandmother didn’t work so she spent her days sitting in a leather reclining chair, which sat in the dining room.

I don’t have any brothers or sisters, but with relatives coming and going, the house was always full of activity. Even at night when most sensible people were asleep, there was that one relative that wasn’t and needed someone to talk to; so of course, they would come over and wake everyone up. My grandmother would come out of her bedroom in her long bathrobe which covered her modest gown underneath, sit in her chair and hold court, so to speak. The rest of us would stumble back to our beds and try to go back to sleep.
My grandmother was a quiet soft-spoken woman who always had a smile on her face. She seemed to love everyone and everyone loved her in return.

In our house there was something else that was plentiful - food. We didn’t eat expensive, but we ate well. Like most of my friends’ families, we ate government cheese, shopped with food stamps and collected pop bottles for extra money, but I never went to bed hungry. There were times I desired another piece of fried chicken that was being saved for the next days’ meal. Once in a while I got it.

Some of my fondest childhood memories entailed helping my aunt the “cook” of the family prepare some delicious meals. Holidays around our house were sinful. Food was plentiful. We had no idea what hunger was, at least not for food.

It wasn’t until I reached the age of thirty after I’d lost my mother, grandmother and aunt in death that I experience real hunger.

Our family had lost one of its best cooks, but what I hungered for could not be whipped up in a kitchen. What I hungered for more than any sumptuous meal was love and I began to look for it in all the wrong places.

With every bad relationship my hunger increased instead of lessened. None of the men I dated were able to satisfy that hunger. It was a hunger likened to the thirst of the woman at the well in the 4th chapter of John.

At the age of thirty-two, my soul was emaciated from the lack of love. I was starving to death and didn’t even know that it wasn’t the love of people that I craved.

What I needed was the love of the Lord. His love was the only thing that could satisfy me.

I was ignorant to his love until the Lord met me one night in October as I wept bitterly because another man had walked out on me. It was at that point, as I cried I heard the sweetest, and gentlest voice. Into my very soul the Lord said, “The love you’ve been looking for has been right here all the time. You’ve been looking for love in all the wrong places, LET ME love you.”

Suddenly I felt the warmth of his love wrap around me like a pair of arms.

From that night on I’ve felt like that little girl sitting at the kitchen table with my aunt except the table I now sit at was prepared by the Lord.

I now have meat and bread that are eternal and that satisfies my hungry soul. Psalm 63:5 “My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.”

Member Comments
Member Date
Corinne Smelker 11/15/04
Thank you for writing this, it was honest and poignant, and well written all at the same time!

I loved the tie in to your aunt, and the Lord - it was very effective.
Lois Jennison Tribble11/15/04
The deepening progression leading to the table of Our Lord is quite effective, with the return to the table of your youth. Very satisfying story with a humbling transparency.
DeAnna Brooks11/16/04
Your article was full of what love looks like. Powerful love..from love of family to the eternal love that is always ours. What vivid pictures you painted. Thanks you.
Betty Shattuck11/19/04
Please pass me the Kleenex! Your writing touched my heart. Thank you for sharing a concise, clear and well-written article. I loved it!