When You are Empty But Surrounded By Need
The people squeezed in tighter to hear his words. He talked; they listened. It was claustrophobic, but he had powerful words so they still squeezed in more. Then it was over. They were all hungry. Cue the cars dashing off to the nearest restaurants for that after-church Sunday meal out.
Except this wasn’t now, it was then. No cars. No way to get out except to walk. Miles and miles. With nothing to eat.
Jesus turned to his disciples and said feed them.
They must have thought he was crazy. “With what? There are thousands of people here and we have nothing.”
“Nothing?” He asked.
“Well, five loaves and two fish that this kid brought.”
Jesus blessed the food, and they handed it out. Basketful after basketful. Everyone ate.
My life is a some loaves of bread and a couple of fish. I feel it. The emptiness of what I have to offer to those who clamor hungry in front of me. My kids push and pull at me so that I feel never enough.
Empty, I hide my eyes from the rest of the world. I ignore the pain of those hurting around me. It’s easy enough to do. Avert eyes. Don’t ask questions. Don’t get involved.
I fear. I hoard. It rots. I mold.
The disciples sought out that same answer. “Send them away,” they said. “These people have empty stomachs, and we’d rather not have them near us because we are empty too.”
Jesus sought what little there was. Take the little. Bless it. Hand it out. It will be enough to go around.
What I have isn’t enough. I see that. I know that.
What I forget is that Jesus is more than enough.
Don’t offer them you. Offer them Him. More than enough to fill in your not enough.
Risk handing that emptyish basket out to just one more person. It’s Him that fulfills, not you.