#WednesdayWalk —Leftover Emptiness Inside

“I don’t know why you brought me here anyways,” my friend grumbles. “And now it’s late and I’m getting hungry.”

“I heard this man has been healing people,” I respond. “I think he can heal you.”

“How?” My friend asks. “Look at this crowd. There has to be thousands here. We’ll never even get close to him.”

“Be patient,” I assert.

“Let’s go home. I need to eat.”

I sigh and give in. “Okay,” I say as I start to turn to leave. But then I notice people are starting to sit down on the grass. I see several men instructing people to sit down. “They’re telling us to sit,” I tell my friend.

“Sit? For what?” he questions me.

“Let’s just sit and see,” I respond.

“Oh, alright,” he grumps. “Help me.”

I grab his arms and help him ease his body down onto the grass. I sit next to him, then gaze in amazement at the sea of people surrounding us — thousands!

A stranger next to me looks my way and says, “They’re handing out food.”

I look up the hill and spot some men with baskets moving through the crowd. The baskets aren’t that large, but they seem to never empty. When they arrive by us, they give us some fish and bread to eat.

“Where did they get all this food for so many people?” I remark as I eat.

“Who cares,” my friend says between bites as he eats his fill.“I’m getting full.”

I look at the bread in my hand, then up the hill at a man standing, surveying the crowd. “Who is that man?” I ask someone sitting next to me.

“He must be a prophet,” the man replies. “Some are saying he fed us with five barley loaves and two fish that some boy had with him.”

I frown at him, “But how?”

“Only a prophet could do such a thing,” the man replies. “Remember how Elijah multiplied the oil for the widow?”

“Yes,” I nod, remembering hearing the story read from scripture.

“It’s a miracle,” the man remarks. “It would’ve taken wagon loads of fish and bread to feed all of us. Do you see any wagons?”

I shake my head, “No.”

“And look, they’re collecting the scraps — there’s food left over,” the man points.

I shake my head in disbelief and yet here in my hand is the bread multiplied by this prophet. I place the last piece of the barley loaf in my mouth and eat it. “Nourishment,” I whisper to myself. I look up and try to find this prophet who was standing on the hillside. I cannot locate him. My heart aches inside. I suddenly feel I need to find him. I stand and scan the large crowd.

“Come on,” my friend says from behind me. “Let’s go home. Help me up.”

I turn to look at him, sitting on the grass, barely able to stand. We came here hoping this man, this prophet, could heal him, but now I feel the need for healing myself — healing deep inside my soul. My stomach is full, but I feel empty inside.

© 2021 CGThelen

#WednesdayWalk Through the Bible — an exploration of what unknown people might have seen or felt when they witnessed the events in the Bible. This post is from the perspective of a man who experienced Jesus feeding about 5,000, based on John 6:1-15 (NASB).

13 thoughts on “#WednesdayWalk —Leftover Emptiness Inside

  1. Lovely visit of one of my favorite stories. I do love the way you’re using God’s gift of creatively to retell from a different perspective and the ending was spot on! Leaves both the narrator and the reader wanting more!! How blessed we are that we can go to God anytime and He fills us up!

  2. These retellings are some of my favorite posts. Beautifully done. I was just reading a scripture post from Alan at Living Waters about manna and spiritual food. I love that you end with a full stomach, but a greater need for Jesus.

  3. Thanks. That’s what started me writing this post — what was it like to be on the far edge of the crowd. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Blessings.

  4. Glad you enjoyed today’s “walk”. I like writing these because it helps me identify with the people in the Bible. Thanks for the comment. Blessings.

  5. Well done, CG. I could picture myself on the hill with these two!

    I’d never considered what it could have been like far out in the crowd. These people didn’t see the boy’s lunch or maybe even hear Christ’s prayer. However, they did notice that the baskets never emptied and saw the leftovers.

  6. Thanks for this. It is an excellent example of what I often counsel folks to do: put yourself in the bible narrative. As I do this, I usually am led to discover deeper meanings to what God is saying.
    Blessings,
    Pastor Chuck

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