FISH AND LOAVES

The words resounded.  Bouncing in my head amidst the laundry and the lot of toys and tantrums and all matters of quiet and chaos, I heard them:  

“Fish and loaves.”

I was panicked and short on time, short on patience.  I wanted to be a “good” mama before I got on that plane but, truthfully, it was easier hoped for than done.

I prayed and prepped and typed and packed.  I kissed those babies all over before I left.  With a lump in my throat I said my goodbyes and set off to fly.

My Fly, this is what I call my dear husband, calmed me.  Before he kissed my forehead goodbye he took my picture and in his gentle way he was telling me he believed.  He believed in this calling that has seemed to creep up into our life.  

I boarded that plane, coffee in hand.  With a deep breath in the window seat the words welled up again:

“Fish and Loaves.”


Rising miles above all the hustle and bustle I continued to write.  With no interruptions my fingers flew and the words went forth fast and free.  Details danced across my screen bringing the stories to new life. 

Finally, after flying in planes and riding in cabs I laid my sleepy head down on those crisp, white pillows.  Dozing off with images of the day playing on that movie screen of my mind, those words flashed again:

“Fish and Loaves.”

“How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.” When they found out, they said, “Five—and two fish.”
— Mark 6:38

You may have heard this story before.  The people are tired and hungry.  Jesus sees them.  His heart is wrecked with compassion for these sheep without a shepherd.  He rounds up his twelve who are filled with doubts and bouts of indignation.  They do not know they already have all they will need to be a part of the miraculous unfolding.

I didn’t know it either.

We are often too blind to be part of the miraculous unfolding.

We are often too blind to be part of the miraculous unfolding.

Too many years of this life have been driven by the proving, the pleasing and performing.  With flailing hands and a failing spirit I have worked hard to feed the ones around me.  With all my strength I worked to feed them.  5, 10, 50, even 100, I fed them.  With my blessed little heart and all my muscle I worked to do that work I felt called to do. 

“Fish and Loaves.”

The next morning I woke ready to take on this day the Lord had made.  With a belly full of butterflies I mixed and mingled and listened and learned.  Lysa TerKeurst took the stage to give the opening message.

“Turn with me to Mark Chapter 6,” she said.

My jaw about hit the floor.  Fish and loaves.  Fish and loaves.  The words flew off the page as I saw them there.  It was so clear yet I still could not see.

The morning moved quickly with information and new acquaintances buzzing all around.  Finally, the time came for me to prove why I had come so far.  I walked into my first publisher meeting green from nerves and naivety but confident in my work.

I walked out with dreams dashed and derailed.

I swallowed hard and smiled as I felt the shame and embarrassment wrap their heavy cloak around me.  The doubts and indignation and their poison began to quickly take effect.  With a clouded mind and broken heart I hobbled on fighting the tears off from messing with my mascara.  

At first the doubts and the indignation flowed right up into my head and right out of my mouth bringing to my ears the reality of the condition of my heart. I had to be quiet and be alone.  In that humid hotel room I found some space and cried out to my God.

I confessed.  I cried.  I asked.  I sought.  I got quiet.  I listened.

“Fish and Loaves.”

Like a little one, after the tantrum is all done, I wiped my tears and felt His arms surround me.  I was forgiven and He was not done.

The next morning I woke hoping to be hopeful but that same shame that wrapped me up the day before hovered over me waiting to pounce.  My head knew what my heart desperately needed.  I found my way to the prayer room: a quiet and dark place set up for a girl just like me.  The only one there, I laid it all on the table.  

I gave him all I had.  2 fish and 5 loaves worth.

 “How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.”  When they found out, they said, “Five—and two fish.”

He said, “Go and see.”  So, I went and saw what I had to give to him: I had breath in my lungs, a voice that could speak, a brain that could think, and a heart that desired to do all these things to affect even just one life, showing them the love that had been lavishly poured out on me.

I laid it all down and lifted my hands to him who can take two fish and five loaves and feed 5000.

And once I did, the miracles began to take place.

The conversations.  
The prayers with others.
The words spoken to me and words spoken from me.  
Leaving the next publisher appointment with a deep breath and a smile.

In the smallest parts of my day I saw the greatest works of His mighty hand.

Awe-filled and wonderstruck, much like those twelve guys that day on that hill with just two fish and five loaves, I watched Jesus take my meager offering and begin to multiply it.  

And all the glory is His alone.