The Last Sandwich

“I’d like the sandwich you have in that bag.”

It was the odd way he said it and the foreign accent that made her stop and look to her left.  He was sitting on the sidewalk with his back to the wall.  He looked thin, and his clothes were worn, but generally clean and carefully patched.

“This is for my son,” she said.  “If it was for me I’d give it to you.”

“You can get another sandwich for your son,” he said.

“No, I can’t.  I used the last of my money to buy this one.  I have no idea where I’ll get any money to buy any more food.”

“Still, I’m asking you for the sandwich.” He didn’t sound angry.  He didn’t sound cruel, as though gloating over taking the last food from a child.  He just sounded matter-of-fact, like it was a routine request.

“How can you ask me this?”  She was angry now.  She didn’t know why she continued the conversation, but she did.  “Are you a cruel man?”

“I am a man of God,” he said.  “I’m asking you to provide for me.  God says that if you grant my request you will never again lack food for your son.”

She looked at him for a moment.  She somehow couldn’t think of him as a fraud.  She held the bag out to him.

She was a block down the street before she started to wonder how she would face her son and reached into her pocket.

How do you react to the man’s request and this woman’s response? What, if anything did she find in her pocket?

Now read 1 Kings 17:8-15. You probably already recognized the story, but go ahead and read it anyhow. Is your reaction to the Bible story different? Why or why not?

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