Over at RevGalBlogPals' Preacher Party, folks are talking about the Gospel of John (6:1-21), the feeding of the 5,000 with the five loaves and two fish in a little boy's lunchbox.
I love this story, for the presence of a child and the consideration of his meager offering (no offering is to small, no assistant too weak). Ah, the immense providence of God as I understand God!
From The Message, vs. 10-14:
Jesus said, "Make the people sit down." There was a nice carpet of green grass in this place. They sat down, about five thousand of them. Then Jesus took the bread and, having given thanks, gave it to those who were seated. He did the same with the fish. All ate as much as they wanted.
When the people had eaten their fill, he said to his disciples, "Gather the leftovers so nothing is wasted." They went to work and filled twelve large baskets with leftovers from the five barley loaves.
The people realized that God was at work among them in what Jesus had just done.
In a comment at the post, regular contributor Diane shared this:
Here's a story from my pre-seminary lay service days.
We were having an evening Vacation Bible School that year, with a supper planned each evening before our lessons. However, no one stepped up for the last evening, so someone suggested that we do a Loaves and Fishes potluck, have everyone bring a bag supper, and put them all together to share. When the time came to open up all the bags, one little girl had taken a great big bite out of her peanut butter sandwich, because she was afraid that she would not have enough if she shared.
However, others brought in surplus, and it turned out that there was more than enough to feed all, even a couple of strangers who appeared off the street (something sort of rare in our neck of the woods.)
So many times in my life, I am the little girl with the sandwich: will I have enough? How will I get enough?
Yes, I mean this metaphorically, in terms of security, money, love, retirement accounts...but also literally, in terms of food. I've struggled all my life with disordered eating and body dysmorphia. My "enough" is broken. Also my "hungry" and "full." In the part of this society where I live, there has never been a question that there will be enough to eat. Unlike in Jesus' time, I do not go to bed hungry for lack of food...but for much deeper and creepier reasons.
While I am much better than I have been in years past, things are not great right now. I know some of the steps to take, and one of them is to be honest about it. We're only as sick, as they say, as our secrets.
If the little girl at the potluck had understood the concept of the Loaves and Fishes meal...that all the food would be opened and shared, and that everyone would see that she had bitten the sandwich...I'm certain she would not have done it. She thought, I imagine, that she was borrowing from her OWN sandwich. A perfectly normal thing to do.
People who have a strange relationship with food like mine do not want to admit it, and they certainly don't want to be seen in public with it. Mine tends to ride on my shoulder and whisper in my ear...and it does so almost exclusively after my DH has gone to sleep of an evening.
I wish it was as easy as this cartoon:
If it were, I'd have been done with this crap years ago.
As it is, I will be pondering "Enough-ness" and how to feel it. Pray for me, if you would.