Few months ago, I was wondering about the unnamed people of the Bible. We easily identify the named heroes of faith and godly examples like Abraham, Daniel, Joseph, David, Paul etc… and even in the present world: Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln, Billy Graham, Bill Gates etc. But could there be something heroic about the unnamed people too?
I mused for a long time and came up with my answer: Yes!
Maybe God intentionally withdrew their names to make a point that your name does not have to be in the paper to make impact. So I dug deep and found some nameless friends in the Bible.
I have written an account of one of my encounters; be blessed as you read.
Let’s call him “Fivantu”
When I walked out of the house that morning holding the lunch box of fish sandwiches my mom packed for me, I never thought I would return head high in the air.
I was not exactly the finest boy in my school. Everyone knew that. Baba sold old antique books at the local mall. I stuttered a little bit but evident enough that they consistently dropped me from the school’s debate team.
I felt like pulling the covers over my head and sleeping in the whole day, but I had to go to school. It was a test day. The night before, I had studied hard my arithmetic despite the catarrh and recited my times table and Mama had read a story to me at tea that night before she tucked me into bed.
Waking up the next morning with a bad cold, I trudged out of bed and took my bath. Mama had packed my lunch –fish sandwiches – and my water skin was filled for the day. I was feeling horrible and it was not a bright day either. Breakfast was usually typical – dried fruit and milk. Then we poorer people often took bread, fish and fruits for lunch. Women baked their own food in the oven made with a large clay dish according to the law’s specifications.
Off to school, I went, with Trisha my dog tracing with his noose the dent my footsteps created on the marshy ground.
School was a bit far and I had to trek a long distance across the meadows and rocky places to the other village. It was a long journey but I was used to it. I loved the scenery – the stream I would cross afforded me the opportunity to appreciate the little fishes and catch one or two for my fishbowl at home. The meadows that shot up with dandelion especially in the spring were a beautiful sight to behold.
The journey usually was about an hour and thirty minutes, plus few minutes eaten up by the sightseeing. Nevertheless, I would still get to school earlier than most of my mates because I stood up early – even the ones whose father’s donkeys brought them in.
After school, I found my way to the grassy outskirts of Bethsaida. My father had told me to come meet him where he was with other people listening to the great teacher – Jesus – teach, so we could return home together. Baba had fallen in love with this man when he came to town few months earlier and he heard of him. He claimed to have come to lead us back to God.
Some believed while others just came by to watch him teach and perform wonders. I was not sure which camp I fell into until lately.
It was not difficult locating my father – all I needed to do was find my way to the red rocks where he usually sat with his friends.
Patting my head as he said “Hello, son”, I took my seat next to him. Trisha wandered away to find some other dogs to play with.
Thousands were listening to the stories of this one man. He spoke with such wisdom, even the kids could understand. The hours passed so quickly, and the day turned to night. Time flew by as he taught us many things about the kingdom of God. He also touched the sick and they were healed. It was when one someone came near and whispered to his ears and he looked up that we realized that it was already evening – the sky’s brightness was beginning to dim.
“It’s enough for today.” I heard him say to all of us as he stood up and looked towards the sky. The day was darkening, and it was a long way off to town. That was considerate of Him.
Even though we wanted to hear more of the beautiful teachings, everyone was hungry. But there was no food in sight. He then had a little discussion with his disciples.
I could tell from their facial expression that there was not enough money. There was a murmuring between them and I discovered that Jesus was reluctant to send us away without food. But there was not money enough to feed thousands of us.
Then, I remembered I had not taken my lunch. I looked at my lunchbox at the little that I had-just enough for me. But, as I opened it, I felt obliged to help the people. That was a crazy thought because I was not sure what good my fish sandwiches would do, there were thousands to be fed.
Still, I couldn’t get the thought from my mind, so I walked to them and tapped Jesus. I saw the twinkling eyes of Jesus and the kindness in His smile, as I cried out with the trust of a child. I said, “Take my fish sandwiches and do with it as you will.”
Then I gave my fish sandwiches to the Master. Andrew, one of the men with Him said, “What good can it do.”
But then, Jesus hushed him and raised my lunch towards the skies. He muttered some words into the heavens. And as he lowered the lunch box, I couldn’t believe my eyes – it had multiplied.
It was in fact flowing over that more baskets had to be gotten to take in the food.
He made us sit in fifties and asked his disciples to distribute it – and it went round – even leaving us with twelve baskets of leftovers.
I put my fears and inhibitions away and allowed Christ to use my food to feed them all. My sacrifice had given the people an unexpected meal. I think I might have become a little star that day – and the people were grateful to me.
Inspired by John 6:9 “There’s a little boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But that’s a drop in the bucket for a crowd like this.” [the Message]
Fivantu means FIVE AND TWO. Yay!
I think you should remember my story whenever you think you are small and you worry that the work you do means nothing at all. No gift is too small when you place it in Jesus’ hands. All you need is to put away your inhibitions and fears and trust Him enough to place that little thing in his hands. He will use it to bless lives.