The chairs line the hallways, side walls, and entire room. Crying children, hungry from the wait, climb all over their worn out mothers. The line doesn’t seem to be moving and only God knows what number she is. To tell the truth, He is probably the only one that cares besides her and the three children that have grown tired of the rerun of “Barnie” that’s been playing for 3 hours.
The look of disappointment shows on her face. The frown lines are all to obvious. In a daze, she finds herself wondering how she could have found herself her. Worse yet, how did she bring her children along? They didn’t ask to wait in a line for food. They didn’t ask to be living in a room with 75 others who were as hungry as they are. So, why?? Hope is out of the question…or is it. The door opens, her name is called. A spark lights in her eyes as her name is called into a different room. Not the one where the clerk gives her a look of disgust. Not the room where the same questions are repeated just to be told she was still not worthy of a home. Dragging her children by their elbows, she runs to the door with hope. She runs to the one person she believes can give her rest and more importantly, a place to sleep and eat.
How familiar the story of desperation. The crowd had gathered on the hill side. The sun seemed so close they hid with their heads under their shirts. For what seemed like days, they sat waiting for help. She can’t remember the last time she ate. Everytime she even got a morsel, she divided it among her children. Like ducks, they followed her from “station” to “station”. Her daughter’s long hair hadn’t been brushed in braided in months, their faces hadn’t been washed. When you’re hungry, not much else matters. To this mother, nothing mattered but feeding her babies. She stood in line after line. Sleeping anywhere she could find to sleep until the next line was formed. The past was so far out of reach she couldn’t even remember getting to this place and a future was no where in sight. In this room, the othersdidn’t look down on her. They were all hungry. But outside those doors, everyone looked down on her. “Get a job!!!” she heard from moms group at the local school. Children weren’t permitted to play with hers. They were all outcast. Life could’ve been better…easier. Years of mistakes, hers as well as others, brought her to this hill. Years of trusting the wrong people and ignoring the ones who really cared, had left her penniless and homeless…hungry. Months had turned into years, which had turned into decades. There was no hope of getting out. So, on this hill she waited with the rest. Certainly in her mind, as well as many others, she didn’t deserve any better.
Sitting on the hill that day seemed like any other day. Hot sun, empty stomachs, silence on the hill except for crying children. But then someone new came through. A new face. A new voice. “Come this way” he motioned. Something in his eyes caused her to have enough trust to grab her children and run towards him. No questions asked. They all followed, like a flock of geese heading South for the winter. They were so motivated that they ran and they got there before the speaker did…and they waited.
He was a distinguished man. No suit and tie, no brief case, but such strong cheek bones that He demanded respect. He offered no food, yet. For hours he spoke. He told them stories, gave them direction. Thousands of hungry families sat still to listen. In His eyes, they could see hope.
The sun had finally faded and a cool breeze had settled in. With her shaw, she pulled her children close. The growls of hunger pains echoed. Like a military platoon responding to their leader, several men showed up with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread. “It’s all we have” their eyes revealed to him. The mother’s face dropped. To see all the hungry people that had met Him here, it seemed pointless. Yet, He was unshaken. He raised the food above His head. Looking above he cried out in thanks. He then divided the food among the men and instructed them to hand it to the people.
For the first time in months, the mother ate with her children. Together they ate the bread and fish. The laughed about their journey. They shared stories of a hope for the future. For the first time in months, she saw her children smile. Brushing the hair from her daughter’s eyes, the tears fell from her face.
She was never the same. Her stomach filled, her children smiling, she left that place with hope for a future.
He offers hope..He gives hope. Just as He did for five thousand hungry people on a forgotten hill, He offers food for your spirit. No matter what your past looks like, or if your future seems too far off to recognize, He has hope for you. He has a plan and a hope for a future. Meet Him on that hill. Wherever your hill may be, meet Him there. There is hope!!