Everybody’s Got a Hungry Heart

By Sam Jolman | December 18, 2008

Lunch time on a normal day of counseling had me heading home for a bite to eat. This was a couple months ago. The menu was going to be whatever leftovers I could zap back to life in the microwave. I wheeled up to my house and was about to get out when the song on the radio froze me in my seat.

Everybody’s got a hungry heart
Everybody’s got a hungry heart
Lay down your money and you play your part
Everybody’s got a hungry heart

Bruce Springsteen wailed his poetry over and over through those well used vocal cords. His words sat on my chest like one of those lead x-ray aprons at the dentist office. My heart would not let me get up. When was the last time I’d thought about my heart and its hunger? And how did something that important slip out of conciousness? But just that quickly, the song ended and my stomach reminded me to take care of my other hunger. And after lunch, the treadmill of life carried me into all those next things I seem to always have waiting.

A week passed. On a Saturday morning, I was now sitting with a warm cup of coffee, a Starbucks table, and my journal. It was one of those rare moments to push back on life’s busy current. And it was right in the middle of some pretty scary events in my life. I was afraid. My circumstances had left me vulnerable to personal and financial hardship. Sound familiar? This is what I was journaling about.

When I left Starbucks, I got in my car and turned it on to find ole Bruce belting out his thousand pound words yet again. And with my heart raw from journaling, I was even more vulnerable to the gravity of their reality. This time, under the internal weight, my heart sighed a prayer to God something about how it would be nice to have my heart noticed, to be seen by Him, to know he cared about my heart. Again I zipped off to the rest of my day. But the heaviness of all this lingered longer this time. Springsteen’s words gave God a foot in the door of my heart.

Not but a few hours later, I fumbled back into my car. And I kid you not; there was Bruce on the radio lamenting our human condition all over again. Everbody’s got a hungry heart. Everybody’s got a hungry heart. I rarely ever here this song. This was getting spooky. Clearly now I was not alone in my car. Knowing this was not coincidence, I finally asked God what he was trying to say to me. Apparently, He needed to tell me something.

“I love you and I see what you need.”

To have a hungry heart and believe that no one cares about it might be the most miserable thing in the world. To have a hungry heart and know someone is really listening might be the best thing in the world. There’s not much grey area here, folks.

So at this point in telling this story, I am afraid you may be growing cynical. I just told you that I believe God really did see me and even that he orchestrated the timing of those songs. And even more that he spoke to my heart that he loves me. And I know. Times are tough. Life is tough. But God did not take away the circumstances that made me afraid. He only let me know he cares. Loneliness trumps hardship, my friends. That’s why it made all the difference in the world to know God saw my hungry heart. I was not alone.

Everybody needs a place to rest
Everybody wants to have a home
Don’t make no difference what nobody says
Ain’t nobody like to be alone
Everybody’s got a hungry heart…


  • Sam Guy,
    For us both, this summer it was a sara groves song. It must’ve come on a dozen times JUST as we would get in the car, or turn on the radio at home.
    The Lord LOVES to speak to us.
    So – we are adopting 2 kids from Africa!
    What was the Lord speaking for you to do?
    Can’t wait to hear…
    Jen (for Jeff and I)

  • Hey Jen! That’s a great story. Wild isn’t it? We live and move and have our being in him. Excited for you guys.

    Well, I really think God was asking me to trust Him more than anything in those circumstances. I guess we don’t think of trust so often as an action. But it was at that time.

    Trust is what opened me to keep risking with Him on other life dreams.

    Say Hi to Jeff Guy.

  • Sam,

    This post was great, brother. I enjoyed reading it and reflecting on times in my own life when I have felt this happen. It is a good reminder of just how much God cares for us.

    Hope all is well. If you see Matt Z., tell him I said Hi.

    Take care,


  • Andy… Glad you had times with God like this. We need these, don’t we? Or I despair.

    I will say hi to Matt when I see him.


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