It was a day like so many others---beautiful blue sky—a shy breeze blowing with a slight nip in the air. The sunshine was beckoning me out my door and away from the four walls that leads to claustrophobic tearing out of my hair. The city is always filled with throngs and if I stand in the front yard, under the pretense of cleaning flower beds, I can witness all forms and shapes of the humanity marching by. I find it quite amazing as they pass by on the time broken sidewalk, the spirit of disconnect of almost all. Holding unto their phones or reading their notes or staring straight ahead-the masses march by with never a glance or a nod—as if I do not exist.
On this beautiful day, as I stand and sheepishly observe, I notice something new—why something quite different. In the beginning I see groups of people all headed in the same direction, but excitedly talking as they swiftly walk past. Then the crowd begins to thicken and their voices are raised into a roar of thrilled chatter.
My curiosity gets the best and I pick out a kind face and shout---“Where are you all going—what is happening?” She turns and swiftly answers without missing a step, “He is here—just ahead—in the field just over the hill!” I cry after her as her back disappears among the throng, “WHO?” It now seems this has grown into a parade, and who am I to pass up a parade? So I slip into the midst of the group with no thought except to see what there is to see.
Just over the hill turns into five miles. A long walk –without being prepared—only following the crowd and pulled along by the throng. There is much laughter and chatter, and they all seem carried away by what is in store. We finally arrive and as I glance around I see a beautiful grassy hillside with thousands gathered round. On top standing on a rock is one lone man –and all are stopping and quietening to listen with rapt attention as he speaks.
As I look at the man, I think he is just a man—an ordinary man. Then I notice the sun shimmering off his garment and a rainbow like haze all around him. While listening to his voice, I hear a melodic rhythm that is also as powerful as the largest symphony—and all are still and quiet leaning in to hear every word.
The morning passes in a flash as we all listen to his words. I soon discover he is talking just to me and seems to know all about me—my wants, needs and desires. Everyone surrounding me thinks the same—that he is speaking directly to them. It is difficult to understand how a speech made to a huge throng can really be meant for only one.
Noon is upon us and how foolish we appear. We have all just joined the parade to hear this great man without a thought of noon and the need to eat. The crowds begin to murmur as it becomes apparent there will be no noon repast without the long walk back. All at once one of the men with him tells us all to sit down. Slowly we settle on the grass and look from side to side, wondering what is next from this great teacher.
Has he sent for food for all of us? Is there hope for a meal? Will a caterer soon arrive or is their pizza on the way? Then to my great surprise, they take five loaves of bread and two small sardines from a small-ordinary child who offers to share it all. I laugh to myself---why we all know this will never feed more than three.
They begin to pass the fish and the bread---it goes from person to person and wonder of all wonders---it feeds the vast number. After we have eaten—why even stuffed ourselves—his men walk among us and collect what is left. There is more left than we started with-why much more—how can this be—what wonder is this?
How did a man that appeared to be ordinary---take this ordinary meal—and feed a crowd of thousands? How did this man who seemed to be just like all other men---know all about me? How did this man speak directly to me in the midst of a crowd? If he can make all this happen, surely he can be trusted for more---why perhaps even with my life.
A day that started with watching the world go by, led to joining the parade and following the crowd, and then being fed by food for not only my belly but also words for my heart. What a day when I decided to follow, hear, and obey as he said, “Pass the fish, please.”
Today I relish in the joy and am thankful for the
blessing of being fed from the Master's Table.
"Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee
and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs he had performed on the sick."
John 6: 1-2
COMPLETE TEXT JOHN 6:1-14