Thursday, March 15, 2012

One Little Lunch

The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves. Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things. And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late. Send them away to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said to him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give it to them to eat?” And he said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” And when they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” Then he commanded them all to sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties. And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. And those who ate the loaves were five thousand men.
Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray. Mark 6:30-46

I was probably one of the most overprotective Moms in the world - or at least my girls thought so. Making sure they had a snack or a lunch with them, extra money, all necessary phone numbers (long before cell phones), and reminders of what to do in all emergencies. They all had to learn to swim at a very young age, learn first aid and be girl scouts so they would have some useful survival skills. I guess like many mothers, I worried a good deal because I love them so much and they are loved and precious beyond words to me.

One little boy, in a crowd of so many thousands had a worrying mother, who packed him a little lunch so he wouldn't get weak before he returned home to her. She was worried that the rabbi might go on too long and all the adults there would forget how quickly children get hungry and tired. Her child wanted to venture our on his own and she conceded only if he would take the lunch, which he reluctantly did. We can be grateful for a mother's love as we can the cooperation and offering of one little boy. It was that little seed of love and caring that fed thousands upon thousands. Those people who were fed had no idea where the seed of food came from, they had no knowledge of the worried Mom or her generous son. But none will forget the great miracle that came from so little an offering. No one will forget they were satisfied, body and soul that day. And God promises to use our small offerings, our little worried, anxious lunches, for the glory of God's love and the care of people - body and soul.

Today I ask God to help me not see limits, mine or others, but always the possibilities that are before me. One little worried Mom and one small boy's lunch became satisfaction and healing for a multitude. May we all see that God can use our very little and transform what we offer into food for the whole world. God is not limited by our lack, so may we not be limited in generosity, knowing that God's love will transform the smallest gift into the biggest feast.

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