It looked just like my lunch! (Feeding of the 5000)

It looked like my lunch!

Its strange how – given that millions of things happen in your life – some things you remember forever. 
Little things: things people have said or things they have done or significant things that have happened.
There is one day in my life that seems like it could have happened yesterday –
and one moment that will stay with me forever.
It was a long time ago,
why, I was only this high,
and I was being taken out for the day by Uncle Isaac.
What a treat!
My mum packed me up a lunch and made sure I had my cloak, and told me to be good
and off we went.
As I trotted alongside Uncle Isaac, I asked,
“Where are we going, Uncle Isaac?”
He said, very solemnly,
“We are going to hear someone the likes of whom you’ve never heard before
and whom you won’t hear again.”
It seemed as though lots of other people wanted to hear someone the likes of whom
they’d never heard before, because the road was crowded.
There were people everywhere and, to be honest, I was quite scared
what with all the pushing and shoving and jostling.
I was very glad when we got to a hillside and people spread out a bit and sat down.
There were people everywhere you looked.
Uncle Isaac said there were thousands of people, maybe ten thousand!
I didn’t know, to me it could have been a million!
In the distance we could see the Teacher, but we could hear him alright.
He told stories and talked about God and life and all sorts of ordinary things that made people laugh.
He healed people too and we could just see people queuing up and then coming away
excited and laughing.
Well, people got so involved they didn’t notice the time and, as it got late,
the mood started to change.
People began to get restless because they were hungry.
I knew I was alright – I had my lunch.
After a while, some of the Teacher’s friends – people said they were called his disciples –
started coming round the crowd asking if anyone had any food.
Uncle Isaac said to me,
“You keep your lunch well hidden lad!”
But, I don’t know what came over me, but I had a funny feeling inside and I thought to myself,
“I want the Teacher to have my lunch!”
So, when one of the men came close, I called out:
"Sir!  I’d like the Teacher to have my lunch!”
The man came and looked and when I unpacked the package
I saw two small fish and five loaves that my mum makes.
The man laughed.  He called to someone else,
“Andrew!  Come and see what this lad wants to give Jesus!”
The man called Andrew came over – and he didn’t laugh.
He said,
“I think we should take this boy to Jesus.”
He took me by the hand and started to lead me through the crowds of people.
We stepped round people and over people and through groups of people.
I was very nervous now.  I had butterflies in my tummy.  What if Jesus laughed?
But I needn’t have worried.
When we reached Jesus, Andrew said something to him that I couldn’t hear.
He squatted down so that he could look into my eyes and he asked,
“What’s your name?”
“Joseph, sir”, I said.
Then he smiled at me and said,
“Joseph, your lunch is just what we need.”
But before he had said the words, I knew that everything was alright.
In fact, when he looked at me and smiled, I felt a lovely warm feeling,
as if I was accepted deep inside, and it made me feel very special.
Then Jesus took my fishes and the bread rolls and he said a prayer over them
just like my grandfather used to do at mealtimes.
After that, it was a blur.  I’m not sure what happened!
Fish and bread were being given out and people were calling out and laughing
and throwing food to each other.
There was such a commotion that I got separated from Jesus
and, I don’t know how, but I found myself back near Uncle Isaac.
People were eating and talking excitedly and saying that they had never seen anything like it.
Food was still being given out and there was enough for everybody.
Someone handed a share to me and – when I looked to see what I had got –
I saw two fish, and five rolls, it looked just like my lunch!
We didn’t rush off, Uncle Isaac and I.
We felt partly responsible and there was a lot of mess.
As people went back to their homes, we helped with the clearing up.
Uncle Isaac said that there were twelve baskets of leftovers.
Twelve baskets!  From my small lunch!
When we got home, my mum didn’t believe us.
Its strange how – given that millions of things happen in your life – some things you remember forever. 
I will always remember the day that my lunch fed thousands of people.
And the moment when Jesus smiled at me, and I knew that I was accepted and special –
will stay with me forever.

Jacqui A Horton 2008