I’m too old for this, but I still dance in our living room, and the worst part is that I still make my mom watch, like I’m four-and-a-half.
“Mom,” I say, “watch what I learned in Argentine Tango class last week,” and I push-lean against a kitchen chair and trace my toes in sultry circles on the hardwood, to the soft strains of a Pandora tango station (hashtag FAVORITE).
“This is new,” I mentioned a few days back, making my way through the new choreography—popping my leg up and, with strength and flirt (“Tease me,” one of the practice partners instructed softly at last Tuesday’s class) flicking my calf up, around, and against the supporting leg of my imaginary lead. The move takes seconds—no more than a beat of music—but I make my mom watch anyway.
Last Tuesday (hours before tango class), I was asked to lead prayer for a communion service at my church; the pastor is shared between two churches, and Tuesdays he serves the other community. The Gospel for last Tuesday was a select ten verses from Mark—about Jesus looking at a crowd and “his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd.”
It’s enough to make you pause and bask in the love, isn’t it?
The church I attend has a huge mosaic—glistening with tiny, golden tiles—of Jesus the good shepherd (I loved this church as soon as I stepped inside…one of my favorite titles of the Divine). I wanted to stop reading right there, and point at the mosaic and be like, “Hey, why don’t we all just look, really look, at this image for a few minutes and remind ourselves how much God loves us.” But, I didn’t, because I was nervous and I don’t frequently lead the prayer service and there were many educated, important people in the crowd. And I didn’t want to waste their time.
So I just kept reading. The rest of the story is about a huge crowd and the disciples who say, “Hey, all of these people need food.”
And Jesus says, “So do that thing. Give them food.”
But (and this is between the lines, you need to really read between the lines to get the full effect) the disciples look at the crowds and say, “WHAT? How do you expect us to do this thing? There is no way to do this. We don’t have the resources for this.”
Dewd. I get it.
But then Jesus is like, “Well, what do you have?”
And, when you add it together, there are only seven items, which is express-lane shopping for sure. But, the miracle is this: everyone is fed. Thousands and thousands, from seven items.
There are people who say this, “It wasn’t a miracle. People just ended up pulling out their extra food and they passed it around.”
You know what? Maybe. But, I really think this: just let Jesus perform a miracle. Let him. He can do it. He is capable.
I told the small gathered congregation about my friends, my way-more talented friends with connections and resources and skill sets and education way beyond mine. And these friends said to me, “We should perform a musical.”
But, the thing is, they’re the ones with the things, you guys. They’re the ones with lights and sound gear and musical training and instruments. I just have a fiery personality and an inability to judge between good ideas and bad ones (I still think life-size puppets was a GREAT idea, KB). But, somehow, they needed me.
It seems like such a big project, way beyond what I’m used to, way beyond my comfort.
But, I told them I would.
A few days later, and people have offered help and space and other generous donations. It’s mind-boggling, really, seeing people offer from their hearts.
So, maybe it’s a story about everyone having enough a passing it around and now thousands have been fed. But, you know, I’m happy to just let Jesus do a miracle. I’ll categorize it here: miracle. I’ve seen it happen.
New year, right? Did you make resolutions? I thought about it. Then I read this reading. This one that starts with God’s intense, intense love for us and climaxes with this miraculous provision for the people of God.
Do the hard things, you guys. Do the ones that don’t seem to make sense, even as you hear God calling you. Do the things that require full leaps of faith into heavenly provision. This story, though: “All ate and we’re satisfied.”
It’s enough to make you want to dance in the living room.