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Topic: Hunger (11/08/04)

By Phyllis Inniss


The OED gives the definition of hunger as a craving for something. Some people have a hunger for knowledge, some a hunger for money and status, some a hunger for righteousness and/or love.

When we seek Christ, we seek love, for Christ is love. He shares His love with everyone and anyone can experience His love if he/she asks His forgiveness and obeys His Word. He doesn’t really ask much of us, only that we love one another and if we do love one another everything will fall into place. We won’t hurt one another either by word or deed.

When Maggie’s parents died, her world as she knew it came to an end. This was utter devastation for her. She was only eleven and spent all of those eleven years very close to her mother, not even a day by anyone else. She was quickly whisked away to her aunt, whom she had met on very few brief visits.

Maggie’s arrival at her new home was met with resentment on both sides. Her aunt did not take too kindly to what seemed to her an intrusion into her family. And Maggie came resenting the fact that she no longer had her mother, her father or her own home and this aunt had never really responded to her with love. Uncle Marvin, Tanty Lucille’s husband, tried to make her feel welcome.

“Now, chile, this is your new home. I and you Tanty will look after you. Doh cry too much, you’ll make you self sick” That was just the cue for Maggie to bawl and scream:

“I don’t want to be here. I want to go home.”

Tanty Lucille, perplexed and not a little bit angry, controlled herself and replied:

“This is where you have to stay now until……” and she left the sentence unfinished as she threw a glance at her husband.

Maggie couldn’t control her crying and the arrival of Pearl, Lucille’s daughter by a previous relationship, exacerbated matters. At thirteen, Pearl was tall and robust for her age and treated the diminutive eleven-year old Maggie as a little brat and beneath her contempt.

“Where she sleeping?”, throwing a condescending look at her grieving cousin.

“With you, on your bed. It’s big enough for both of you.” Pearl shrugged her shoulders and went into the kitchen, throwing another quick glance at Maggie. Maggie thought of her own bed that she would never sleep in again and set about another bout of wailing. It was Maggie’s misfortune to have had unpleasant altercations with members of her peer group or most of the children she came into contact with. Pearl was no exception and now of all the luck to have to sleep in the same bed with her.

The only show of understanding came from Uncle Marvin, who was away most of the time. He left early on mornings and came home late on evenings. He spent a lot of time out of the house with his friends. All Tanty Lucille’s affection was for Pearl, who was rude to her whenever she didn’t get her way. Maggie’s resentment for the family increased daily as her aunt found every opportunity to compare the two cousins. Pearl’s attributes were forever highlighted, while Maggie’s faults were always exposed.

“Pearl get along with everybody, everybody like Pearl, not like dat one inside with her face always set up like a storm coming.”

“Don’t be too hard on her, give her a chance to get used to things here.” Marvin would say.

“I too hard on her, but listen to this man. You doh see how she always frowning and sullen and hardly want to answer. I have to slave for all you and dat’s the thanks I get.”

No encouraging word, no caress, no show of affection. There was this hunger for love. None was forthcoming. Maggie alienated nearly everyone with whom she came into contact. She even surreptitiously dropped hints designed to make mischief about the other two to Uncle Marvin.

There is still hope for Maggie, “and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.” (Rom. 15:4 RSV). There are those who are willing to help her by bringing her closer to Jesus, who said “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”. At this time when there is so much resentment, we are waiting for that miracle.

Written by Phyllis Inniss
12th November, 04

Member Comments
Member Date
Corinne Smelker 11/15/04
Unquestionably sad, and unquestionably true. Poor Maggie - but at least she had an ally of sorts in Uncle Marvin.

I liked the dialogue scenes, you captured the speech patterns perfectly.
Liz Hoyt Eberle11/17/04
Thank you for reminding us of those whose hunger is so deep.
Verlie Ruhl11/17/04
This story really pulled me in and kept my attention, and left me hungry to know what happened. The dialect was so interesting, I would have liked to know more about the setting for the story, and maybe a hint of who was working to help the girl at the end.
Cyndy McNaul-Nelson11/17/04
Thanks. I know those feelings all too well;the reason we work with the children that we do. Thanks. cyndy
Lucian Thompson11/18/04
Phyllis, a very gripping story that pulled me in and left me wanting to know more. One thing, I think the first two paragraphs would read better at the end. The third paragraph is the hook that grabbed me. Loved it. Well done.
Mitzi Busby11/18/04
Very sad story. I liked the dialogue. So many out there are hurting and hungering for love. Keep up the good work.
Barbara Ann Smith11/18/04
This story was heart rendering and help this readers interest to the end. Your dialect brought the story to life in many ways. This was an excellent read.

In Christ,

Barbara Ann Smith
Kenny Paul Clarkson11/18/04
Well done. My heart goes out to Maggie.
John Hunt11/18/04
A lovely read, albeit melancholy.
Very nicely done.
Tesiri Moweta11/19/04
Nice work with very deep lessons. Maggie's case is a reality that can't be ignored.
Therefore, we do have to strive to be more like Uncle Marvin.
Enjoyed the dialogue, it displays a creative style that i admire.
Thanks a bunch and do
keep winning and shining for Jesus.
Deborah Anderson11/19/04
Nice job, Phyllis. God bless you.