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The Hungry Heart


"The bowls never needed washing. The boys polished them with their spoons till they shone again; and when they had performed the operation, (which never took very long, the spoons being nearly as large as the bowls,) they would stare at the copper bowl with such eager eyes, employing themselves with licking their fingers with the view of catching up any stray splashes of gruel that might have been splashed, that might have been cast thereon."

"A council was held; lots were cast who should walk to the master after supper that evening, and ask for more, and it fell to Oliver Twist."

"Child as he was, he was desperate with hunger, and reckless with misery."

Charles Dickens....Oliver Twist

Charles Dicken's description of Oliver's desperate physical hunger could well describe the hungry heart.

How closely connected are these hungers.

The physical and the emotional.

I love how Jesus connected the physical hunger and the spiritual.

I love how He crossed all social barriers of the time and reached out to the marginalized people.

A great example is found in the gospel of John.

"Would you give me a drink?" he asked.

The woman He spoke to took a step backward distancing herself from the stranger.

"How is it that you, a Jew, are speaking to me, a woman from Samaria?"

Jesus gazed at her with kind eyes and wordlessly stretched his hand toward her, showing her his desire to receive a drink.

"Are you asking me, a woman, for a drink?"

"If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water." said Jesus

The Samaritan woman laughed heartily.

"Sir, you do not even have a bucket, and the well is deep. From where do you propose to get this living water?"

"Anyone who drinks of Jacob's well will become thirsty again, but anyone who drinks the living water which God supplies through me, it will become a fountain."

Jesus breaks many boundaries in this conversation. The boundary between male and female, the boundary between "chosen people" and "rejected people".

Oh, how I would have loved to be a fly on the wall. Even better still, I would have loved to have been that woman!

She had two or three things against her. She was a woman and not only that a Samaritan woman.

Samaritans were considered perpetually unclean by the Jews.

The amazing thing is that it is to this woman, the one that He has chosen, that He reveals for the first time in the book of John who He is.

"I know the Messiah is coming. When he comes, he will reveal everything to us." she says.

Jesus nodded approvingly.

"I am He." ………….. -------- excerpts from the gospel of John chapter 4

There are many beautiful stories in the bible but this one resonates so much with me as I could have been that woman.

Marginalized and broken He was broken for me.

In this time when the world around us is a broken world there are many hungry hearts.

In a day of uncertainty and fear there is a God who knows the hungry heart.

This is the time of Lent, but Easter is coming.

"Bread of the world,

In mercy broken

Wine of the soul

In mercy shed

In whom the words of life are spoken

And in whose death

Our sins are dead.

Look on the heart of sorrow broken

Look on the tears by sinners shed

And by the feast to us the broken

That by the grace

Our souls are fed"...……………………………………………………………..Reginald Heber, 1827


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