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