by Debbonnaire Kovacs

John 6:1-15

I’m running. My bag is bumping against my side and I’m getting a little out of breath, but I don’t care. I want to be in the front, where I can see. There’s a jillion people! More people than I’ve ever seen in one place before, even when Abba took me to Jerusalem for the Feast. Seems like the world is made up of legs and elbows and walking sticks. But I’m small, and I can duck under and dash around and wiggle between, and pretty soon—here I am!

That’s more like it. There’s Jesus and those men who always surround him wherever he goes. He’s sitting down! Shh! Hurry up and be quiet, everybody! He’s sitting down like the teachers do, and I bet he’s gonna say something awesome!
Hours and hours have passed. Jesus’ stories are way cool, but I’m starved. Guess it’s a good thing, after all, that Mom made me bring this bag of food.

What? Me? Oh! Jesus is saying the people are hungry and they need food. Well, I guess I could share. One of the men, I heard Jesus call him Andrew, points to me. I stand up respectfully and bob my head. “Five, sir, and two salt fish, also.”

He smiled! He smiled right at me! Did you see that? I’m not so hungry. There are people hungrier, I guess. Mom will make more.

Jesus holds up my bread, like Abba does when he’s going to say the blessing. I bow my head and whisper it with him. Baruch Ata, Adonai Eloheinu, melech ha’olam, hamotzi lechem min ha’aretz.

When I open my eyes, I close them again, and rub them, and blink a few times, but the men are still passing out my bread. My bread, that Mom made this morning. I watched her do it, and it was the same old ordinary flour and oil and salt and a little water! Bread and bread and more bread! Fish, too! There were only two, I swear!

Hands all around me, reaching. I’m standing here with my mouth open and forgetting to get any, so I grab some on the way by, but I just stare at it, at first. Then I taste it cautiously. It just tastes like Mom’s bread. Good. Maybe fresher, not like it rode around in my bag all day. And still Jesus and his friends are passing it around. I can’t believe it!
Leftovers. Can you believe it? Twelve baskets of leftovers, big ones, too! I’m taking some home to Mom. She’ll never believe this!

But here’s the weirdest thing of all. Everybody got so excited, they were going to make Jesus king. I would love that! Don’t you think he’d make the most awesome king ever? And not just because he could magically make food to feed armies, either. I heard some men talking about that. Dumb. He’d be a cool king because. . . well, just because! I never met a real king, but I don’t think there’s ever been one as good as Jesus would be.

But. . . he ran away. I don’t get it. Just kind of disappeared. I waited and waited, but his friends finally got in their boat and left.

Why did he run away? Doesn’t he want to be king?