Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: FIZZLE (06/09/16)
TITLE: A Widow's Daily Bread
By Elaine Hemingway
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The boy was crying again.
“Bubba, is there no bread? Is it really all gone?”
“Not quite, my son. I’m going out now to gather some wood, and when I come back I promise to make you a lovely loaf. Wait just a little while my precious one and I’ll be back soon.”
Yenta shuffled to the door of their little house, stroking the beautifully carved table in their eating area as she went through the increasing dilapidation of their home. Amos had made that table for her, as he had made all of the furniture in their home before his illness. She had watched him get weaker and weaker, his life disintegrating before her eyes until he was no more. Now it was their turn. She had managed to feed them but with the drought that had devastated the land and because they were so isolated it had come to the point where she could do no more. She had prayed to Yahweh, and trusted Him even now, but she couldn’t see how He could bring her a solution.
Many people had left the town as supplies had dwindled and crops had failed. It seemed that only the old and infirm remained. There was no-one else about as Yenta approached the town gates, only a man she had never seen before.
Who would come to a dying town?
“Hello, there,” he greeted her. “I wonder if you can help me. Could you spare me a gourd of water?”
“It certainly is in short supply here.” She smiled at him as she turned to go back to her home. “I will bring you some now, sir.”
“Oh, lady, I thank you. And could I ask for a piece of bread too, please? I have travelled from the Kerith Brook which has also dried up.”
“Sir,” she replied, “I would love to help you. But as surely as the Lord, Yahweh, lives, I don’t have any bread. I woke this morning thinking I could smell bread cooking, but it was in my dreams. I have only a handful of flour and a little oil, barely enough to feed my son and myself. I am looking for sticks now to build a fire, and then we will eat and wait to die.”
The man held out his hand to take hers and smiled down at her. “Don’t be afraid,” he said gently. “Go home and do as you said. But first make a small cake of bread for me from what you have, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: 'the jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord gives rain on the land'.”
The next morning, and for many days afterwards, the smell of bread cooking was real and for a long time her son did not cry.
1 Kings 17:10-16
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