Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel. Jesus called his followers to him and said, "I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way." They answered, "Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?" "How many loaves do you have?" Jesus asked. "Seven," they replied, "and a few small fish." He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. They all ate and were satisfied.
~ Matthew 15: 30-37
Fishermen along the Texas City Dike remind me of the solitude that the Disciples must have known prior to being called by Jesus.
The men who spent their time mending nets, casting their nets for fish, and living side by side, must have thought at one time or another that the crowds were overwhelming.
It's like having a bus load of strangers dropped off at your home to visit someone staying at your home, and then everyone looks at you at once and says, "We are hungry!"
And then you realize you haven't any food in the freezer, and only a few left overs packed away in the refrigerator. You haven't gotten paid, and you certainly don't feel comfortable leaving your home to seek out food.
A call goes out among all. "Look, I can't care for you all."
Somehow it seems to be okay. A few fish and some bread is pulled from the cabinet, there is grace, and somehow everyone in the room partakes.
People are complimenting you on the hospitality and when the plates return, there is so much food, that you have to get another roll of aluminum wrap out to package what's left. Your refrigerator is full and everyone is ready to nap on your floor because they are so satisfied from the meal.
The abundance that each of us experiences when we spend time with God can be overwhelming.
There surely were days when those Fishermen wished they could go back and pick up those empty nets and spend the day in solitude.
The ability to adapt, and to reach out to others was something that Jesus saw in each of the Disciples. Just as there are qualities in each of us that exists that only become known when we leave our current existence and trust enough in God to follow.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2020
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.