It has been snowing and blowing non stop where I live, so everything has been scoured clean and cold.
This morning I find myself wondering how the birds find nourishment in such an ocean of fluffy stuff. During the harsh winter months, we have put out stale bread on the feeder, especially when low on sunflower seed. It takes the teensy Chickadees many days to discover that the bread is edible. They perch on the bread, fly past it, or at other times, the neighbor’s dog snags it, and they get nothing.
Lately, I feel a lot like those birds–searching and searching for what has been right there all along.
We missed church this week due to traveling, and even missed Ash Wednesday since the weather has been so awful that the children’s service for ashes (the one our family usually attends) was cancelled since the highway was closed. So, I am searching for God at home and in the Bible.
I have been particularly thinking about a Greek woman from Mark (Mk 7: 24-30). Jesus helped her daughter to cast out a demon. The woman seemed to really bother Jesus (or so it seemed to me, maybe because she probably worshipped other Greek gods?) and they had this conversation:
He said to her, “Let the children be fed first.
For it is not right to take the food of the children
and throw it to the dogs.”
She replied and said to him,
“Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s scraps”
I don’t know if I would have been brave enough to approach Jesus (especially if I was an idol worshipper), but she compared herself to a dog and was content to get his “scraps” or the merciful cleansing of her daughter from a demon (or from sin).
Another crumb/scrap-related related segment is again from Mark. This time, chapter 8 (Mk 8: 14-21). The disciples feel they have again done far less than Jesus needed or wanted them to do. He warns them about the Pharisees and Herod using a bread metaphor of leavening (contrasted with the manna in the desert or the unleavened bread we now receive as eucharist). The disciples think Jesus is talking about the physical word and their physical needs, since they have remembered to only bring one loaf of bread with them.
“Why do you conclude that it is because you have no bread?
Do you not yet understand or comprehend?
Are your hearts hardened?
Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear?
And do you not remember,
when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand,
how many wicker baskets full of fragments you picked up?”
At times, I see myself very much like a confused disciple or a bird pecking through a snow-covered landscape. It can’t be that easy? It can’t be that Jesus is the solution, the truth, the life, and all the bread that I need?
I am sure He is all the crumbs that I will ever need, and perhaps I (and all of us) need to search for Him where he is. Right here with us, in front of us, and within us all the time! I just have to stop looking for Jesus in all the wrong places!