Lenten Blog -- Day 22
Saturday, March 17, 2012
“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” (v.9)
I used to grill and sell hot dogs on weekends for several years. It was during a time of recession and it was a way to help out my folks who’s restaurant business was struggling. Every Saturday morning and many Sunday’s, I would load up a grill, dogs & sausages, buns, condiments, drinks, and a small table in our minivan and set up shop outside of the plaza’s superstore (with their permission, of course). It was difficult work at times, flipping dogs often for a dozen people waiting for their tasty lunch of meat in tube form. I remember sitting out there no matter the weather—during snow and rain storms. It was probably more grueling on my soul in many ways—what do you think of a man who flips hot dogs? Do you know that I went to a world class university? Is it necessary for me to explain this to you? Those were lean times as the economy hit us hard. Those were hard times on my sense of God’s presence in my life.
I would like to know of God’s abundance during lean times, like in the wilderness. Jesus repurposed a lunch into a buffet for 5,000 from a little boy whose family was probably just trying to make ends meet. He didn’t know better, of course, and followed Jesus’ lead and miraculous provision occurred. Hundreds of people waiting for their lunch and Jesus feeds them. It reminds me of the other time when there were thousands of people spread out desperate for food in the wilderness. Though the people complained that they weren’t being served, God showered flecks of whitesomethingorother for consumption. He through some quails in for meat. It’s as if John reminds us that Jesus is doing on that which God has done. The man in the middle of the bread and fish is the God who is present in the hunger.
Something in that experience with the buns and the dogs, as they were multiplied for lunch for the customers tweaks at me. What were these things for me? God was present with me in difficult chapters of wilderness in my life. As much as I would like to focus on resource multiplication, faith is about repurposing apparent experiences that become a memory for what was not apparent and become an awareness of God’s presence. Can I believe it?