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Looking for Truth
Meditations on the Gospels by Joy Troyer
 

     

Stay and Rest

 

Matthew 14:14-22

[Jesus] saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick. When it was evening, the disciples came to Him and said, "This place is desolate and the hour is already late; so send the crowds away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves."  But Jesus said to them, "They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!" They said to Him, "We have here only five loaves and two fish." And He said, "Bring them here to Me."  Ordering the people to sit down on the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food, and breaking the loaves He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds, and they all ate and were satisfied. They picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve full baskets. There were about five thousand men who ate, besides women and children.

 

 

I’m grumpy today.  I’ve been working hard, both at work and at family affairs.  A funeral.  A move.  A stolen car.  A new system at work.  A dead battery.  Finally it’s my time for fun, but I’m tired.  I want to just sit and rest.  I have reservations for fun in the sun by the sea.  But I really just want to stay here and rest. 

 

I would like to sit on the hillside and be fed by a compassionate healer.  That would be nice.  No need to run to the store, shop and cook.  I can just sit here and rest.  Perhaps that is why the multitude stayed there, knowing there were only 5 loaves and two fishes.  They were tired and just wanted to rest.  “Perhaps the bread will make it to me.  And I have some cheese in my bag, enough to share with the people next to me.  With some bread that will be enough.  And we can all stay here and rest.”  And as the meager loaves and fishes were passed, perhaps there was more cheese and some veggies from a garden, and a few figs to help them make it through the day.   And as one shared; as Jesus set the example of sharing his embarrassingly inadequate fare, others found that their baskets were not so meager as they thought.  Perhaps they could share a little, so that those sitting beside them could stay and rest.  Perhaps there were a few in the crowd that weren’t so tired and, eager to help out or to enjoy the company of a happy, peaceful crowd, scurried into town for more food; their energy allowing others to rest.

 

When you think about it, it’s a miracle that no one scoffed at Jesus’ offering.  Five loaves and two fishes, no matter how big each might have been, was pitiful, really.  This food was meant to feed a handful of men, not a crowd.  How silly to offer it; as if it would actually satisfy the crowd.  Was it arrogance or naiveté that made him do it?  Or did he know that a gift offered would begat other gifts?  This small inadequate offering was made in order to let the group rest.  And this tired, parched group rose to the occasion.  How miraculous is that? 

 

How often have I held back my gifts, thinking them embarrassingly inadequate?  Thinking that those around me are too poor, in spirit or gifts, to rise to the occasion.  Or more likely, thinking that those around me should rise to the occasion, but probably won’t and I’ll get stuck doing it all.  If I do offer my help, I do so hoping for a reciprocal offering and not really believing that my help is enough.  But perhaps it is.  Perhaps what I have just needs to be offered.  And perhaps it will be enough and we can all rest.

 

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