Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.
Handing Out Bread
Handing out Bread
By Jenny McHenry
Sometimes a glimpse of God's love and grace comes shining into my day at the most unexpected time or place. In the mundane and tired routine His light suddenly shines so brightly, that nothing can seem tiresome, because I realize that God is there in the routines of our lives, reaching out and calling, so that even the daily release from school can be a chance to see His light.
The usual routine of picking my daughter up from high school consists of parking in a long line of cars and passing the time, until she finds me. On one afternoon I arrived early enough to park directly across the street from the school, and with so much spare time and such a good parking place, I decided to pass the time people-watching, something I often enjoy. But this day, above all days, was a wonderful day to watch people outside of Florin High School. On the sidewalk in front of the school walked a small Asian man, dressed in a mismatched suit of blue polyester pants and a gray jacket. He carried a white box to a place on the sidewalk, set it down, and pulled out a small stack of bright orange New Testaments. “Bibles!” I quietly exclaimed. How wonderful to give Bibles to these lost students. You could tell on this campus that so many of the students had no answers, or even much in the way of moral understanding. As far as I could tell, they were very lost. Their eyes looked sad or angry, and from their mouths and car stereos flowed more foulness than I have ever heard.
But here came light. I watched this small bible man as he waited for the masses of students to come. (They always remind me of weary exiles as they leave school). He stood patiently, rocking back and forth holding his stack of Bibles with many more waiting in the box. Then he waved. I leaned in my car to see who returned the wave. Another Bible man took a place on the sidewalk, and as I leaned to look down to the other end of the school, I saw more Bible men taking places to wait, like sentinels in front of the school. Each one, dressed in an old polyester suit, set down his box, pulled out a stack of Bibles and waited….
Then the bell rang, and a miracle began, one which the witnessing of refreshed my soul. One student came, looked a little unsure, but took a Bible extended to her. Two more students avoided this small Bible man, as he reached his arms far out to them, offering them food for their hungry souls, as a mother might try desperately to feed her picky, hungry baby. “Take it, take it, it will satisfy you!” Then the masses came, throngs of the lost. I forgot to look for my daughter. The Bible man held four Bibles in each hand, and spread them out, as Christ spread His arms on the cross, and he (the Bible man) reached toward the passing youth, offering the Bread of Life to them. “Take it!” my heart cried, “It will satisfy you!” And they did. Most did. We all like getting something for free, but many had no idea what was really being offered to them… . for free. But take it they did. Hundreds of lost students grasping God's very word in their hands, handed to them from a small man's far reaching arms.
One girl walked past my car holding her new Bible close to her chin. Looking straight ahead and very serious, she fingered the Bible as though she had some idea of this precious gift she held. A young man glanced at his and quickly stuck it in his pocket. “Lord, remind him to read it when he gets home” I prayed. Two more youth passed this Bible man. One took a Bible, probably because it was free. He glanced at it then gave it to his friend. His friend opened it, and his eyes got very big, as he closed it and tried earnestly to give it back to his friend, like playing hot potato, only his friend wouldn't take it back. “Keep it, read it when you get home, while no one's looking. Perhaps it will give you needed answers.”
Many minutes passed, while the Bible man passed out Bible after Bible. How tired his arms must have felt, holding them up like Moses. He reached out relentlessly, as some shunned him, others pointed and laughed, but most took those bright orange Bibles. Some opened them and laughed, some just held them or pocketed them, but some opened them and took serious or curious looks into those precious pages.
Eventually my daughter found me, and we began the slow drive past the school, all the while watching in wonder as many more Bible men passed out the Bread of Life to this starving crowd streaming out of school. “Lord,” I prayed, “If even one will taste you and see how good you are.”
As I turned the corner and headed out of the traffic I saw something else wonderful. A student was sitting on his backpack, leaning against a brick wall, and reading his new Bible. Someone was tasting, taking a bite, or maybe a whole meal, from God's Word.
That Bible man will forever remain in my memory, reaching his Bible filled hands out toward the many youth, his heart pleading with them to “take it…Be satisfied!” and he will always remind me of Christ in His love, reaching out to the lost world with his nail scarred hands crying His love out to them. Oh what wondrous Love. “Be satisfied!”
“Come all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come buy and eat! Come buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me that your soul may live.”