by Cynthia Ruchti

When a novelist tangles with an opening line that flops in death throes on the page, or peeks into the Mason jar marked “Marketing Funds” and sees that the contents barely cover the bottom of the jar, or hunts for crumbs of significance in the pages of the book just arrived from the publisher, he or she may feel like a slack-jawed disciple when Jesus looked at the hungry crowd and said, “You feed them” (Matthew 14:16).

“With what? I got nothin’.” (Loose interpretation of the disciples’ actual reply.)

As much as my husband will appreciate that I finally wrote devotional thoughts that could utilize a picture of one of his typical catches, this picture doesn’t fit the biblical story we know as the feeding of the five thousand. The Bible specifically notes that the food available at the time was five loaves of bread and two small fish. But thanks for your attempt at illustrative help, Bill.

The enormity of the need compared to the smallness of the offering–many writers’ daily dilemma–didn’t rattle Jesus, as we know. He took action. Without fanfare, ranting, hair-pulling, tears, or throwing something at His computer.

The Bible tells us:

  • He said, “Bring them (the small fish-and-loaves words) to me.”
  • He ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. (He got organized.)
  • He took the five loaves of bread and the two fish. (Used what He had been given.)
  • He looked up to heaven. (Remembered the source of everything good.)
  • He blessed them. (Prayed for their effectiveness and thanked God for the gift of them.)
  • He broke the loaves apart. (Kept writing as if the words would be enough.)
  • He gave them to His disciples to distribute. (Hit SEND.) Matthew 14:18-20 CEB
Notice the verbs: said, ordered, took, looked, blessed, broke, gave…
Not a whine, rant, commiserate, flail, mourn, or sob in the bunch.
What if we followed His lead? What if when we are convinced our stories, our writing, our career, our words are inadequate, we became people of action who got busy thanking God for what we have, praying our way through, and expecting that the God who gave the gift would make the words enough?
Why would we who follow Him expect any less result than the kind He witnessed–many baskets of leftovers? Enough for take-out, enough for the writer to eat too?
Cynthia Ruchti is breaking apart loaves and fishes words to tell stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark through her novels and novellas, devotions, and nonfiction. In addition to recent releases When the Morning Glory Blooms (novel) and Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People’s Choices (non-fiction), both from Abingdon Press, she’s anticipating the soon release of All My Belongings. Lord, only YOU can make them satisfy hungry souls. But You can!
www.cynthiaruchti.com or www.facebook.com/CynthiaRuchtiReaderPage