A Hungry Boy

The little boy woke up hungry. Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, he sat up, brushed the old blanket aside, and called for his mom. It was cold, bitter cold, and he could see snow falling as he looked out the van window.

“What, Billy? Are you ok?” came the reply from the front seat.

“Mom, I’m cold. Do we have anything to eat?” he asked while burrowing back under the blanket.

“No, we don’t, we ate everything we had last night,” answered his mom.

“But I’m hungry! And it's freezing in here,” moaned Billy.

“Honey, we are almost out of gas. I can’t start it to warm us up. What if the police come and tell us we have to move? We have to have enough gas to do so,” answered his mom.

“Mom, what are we going to do?” he cried, “Are we going to live in this van forever? And I have to pee. Real bad!”

“I hope not. Get out and go pee behind the dumpster,” she replied.

Billy opened the door and shivered. He went behind the dumpster and did his business. and hurried back to the van.

“Mom, it’s so cold out there. Can’t we do something?”

“Billy, I’m doing the best I can. You know I lost my job. You also know I’m trying to find another one.”

“I know, but it’s hard. I’m tired of living in this old van.”

“I know. Maybe I can find us something to eat. You stay here and cover up with the blanket.”

His mom got out, pulled her coat up tightly around her neck, and started lifting dumpster lids. They were parked behind a strip mall. There were a couple of restaurants and a grocery store, so the odds were pretty good that she would find something. He watched as she went down the long row of dumpsters, peering inside, and occasionally grabbing something. In a few minutes, she returned with the fruit of her efforts, a bag of apples and a loaf of bread.

“Look what I found,” she said as she got in the van,“The apples are a little squishy, but I think they are ok. We can break the mold off of the bread. Let’s eat. I’m starved and I know you are hungry.”

She handed Billy an apple and he began to eat. He got apple juice all over his face and hands, but he didn’t care, it tasted good.

Neither of them saw the dark figure approach the van. It came to the driver’s side and knocked on the window. Startled, his mom did the wrong thing, she opened the door. She would have had to start the car for the power windows to work.

“Yes, what do you want?” she asked while trying to see who it was.

“Everything you’ve got!” came the reply.

“What?” she cried out with fear.

“You heard me. I’ve been watching you. Now get out of the van!” he ordered.

“No, please, no! This is all we have,” she cried.

Then out of nowhere, a gun appeared. Terrified, she crawled out and turned to the van to get Billy.

“What are you doing? Get away from that door!”

“I’m getting my son. Please don’t hurt us.”

Suddenly things went bad, very bad. Billy heard a loud noise and saw his mom crumple to the ground.

“Mom!” he cried as he dropped to her side. He felt something strike his head, and immediately he was in another world, a wonderful world. The sun was shining, it was warm and he felt at peace.

“Billy,” the voice called.

Turning, Billy could see a man, robed in white, motioning for him to come.

“Who are you?  And where am I? What happened?” he asked.

“Billy, I have many names, but most people call me Jesus. Billy, you are in heaven. Because of something terrible, you died and now you are here with me,” the man answered.

“Could it possibly be true? He had gone to Sunday School and Youth Church and had heard about Jesus and had accepted Him into his heart. But could this have happened to him?” he wondered.

“What about my mom?” he asked, “Is she here?”

“Yes, she is here. You can see her later.”

Billy nodded as he looked around. The first thing he noticed was that he wasn’t cold anymore, but he was still hungry.

Jesus sensed it and asked, “Are you hungry?”

“Well, then, come along. There is a banquet table with a seat reserved for you. You will never be hungry again.”

December 31, 2020