By: Jenni Taylor
Jesus called his disciples to him and said, ‘I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat…’
His disciples answered, ‘where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?’
‘How many loaves do you have?’ Jesus answered –Matthew 16:32-34
My fridge is full, but my eyes are hungry. Hungry for more time, more freedom, more peace, more wisdom. I am hungry for less- less stress, less pain, less loneliness, less daily doses of despair. I want to be faster, smarter, kinder, more patient, more giving. I want to be better.
All this wanting leaves me paralyzed.
I kick and scream in my tantrum, a small ugly smugness creeping from my heart. I want to be good; that means I must be halfway there already. I want, I want, I want… My eyes are turned inward, my ears tuned to the sound of my own voice, and there are my fists- closed tightly, ever so tightly.
“How many loaves do you have?” He asks. The question burns.
“I have compassion for these people,” he says, and I finally look up. I see the thousands of high-rise apartments surrounding me, their lights softly glowing in the night. The lights outnumber the visible stars a million to one, and I am gently reminded how selfish I am to ever think I am alone.
My clenched heart hears a thin strain of music, ancient and connecting and almost completely forgotten. A song of giving.
I am hungry. My needs are not belittled or lost in the void, but no longer do they come first. I accept the hunger, and I accept I still have so many things to give. My heart begins to thaw, and I close my eyes and pray for the same compassion the Great Teacher had to put his own hunger to the side and care for those around him. I have loaves- warm, buttery, full of goodness loaves to offer the world. People break bread, they connect, they open their hands and in return are filled to the brim. I count my loaves, I count my blessings, and I see the same miracle in my life that we see in the gospel of Matthew-
There is more than enough.