If I were creative today, I’d write the script for a Food Network show where three competitors are given a box of food and the challenge of preparing a meal for a crowd. They each open the box that has been delivered to them. There’s a burlap sack with five barley dinner rolls. There’s a leaf wrapped around two small fish.
Philip says, “God. No.”
Andrew says, “O God.”
They are only sort of praying.
Jesus says, “Thanks God!” And just starts passing out food.
Guy Fieri just starts laughing.
I talked yesterday about the crowd needing food and Andrew pointing to the food they had. He thought it wasn’t enough, but at least was connecting the need with the resource.
(I thought about that while walking around the hospital on Sunday. People need medical care. I can’t really help with that. And if that’s the only need I think people have, I will give up. But people also need emotional and spiritual care. They need to know someone knows and understands and cares. I can do that. So can you. You can let people know that they are known and seen. A text, a card, a letter, a call, those are those are things you have that connect to real needs that people have.)
In the story, Jesus has the disciples seat people in groups that make food distribution AND conversation more easy.
He thanked God.
He started passing out food to the disciples, who passed out food to the people.
He had the disciples gather the food.
The disciples got to see that it wasn’t money that met the need, it was food brought to Jesus, blessed, and passed out by the disciples. They may not have understood how it happened, but they were active in the middle of it. And THIS process would have stopped at any point they stopped.
(And the people you could encourage won’t be encouraged by you unless you hit “send.”)