Today is turning out much different than we supposed it would when we gathered at the shore of the lake early in the morning to spend the day together. Much had been happening in each of our lives and what was needed was a day on the lake, a day to unwind, to share our hearts, to be listened to, cared for. What was needed was a slow, long drink from the refreshing waters of re-creation. The lake seemed exceptionally blue this morning, the waves on the shore seemed to be saying, Weve been waiting for you we are at your service, to carry you, to gently rock you, to reflect to you the beauty of creation, the love and care of God. We settled into the boat, excited, even giddy to be spending the day away from the demands, expectations and in some cases the attacks we encounter on a daily basis. A day untethered, of being together, hanging out, letting go and being with one another and ourselves. What a day this would be!
This all quickly changed. In fact, now, the morning seems like a life time ago. The very things we sought to distance ourselves from have found us. Those precious, life-giving moments as we began our day, a distant memory. I cannot say I am surprised. When I saw the crowd on the other shore and then looked at him, I could see it in his eyes - the love, the care, the gut-churning compassion welling up within him. There was no turning back. This love that drove him pulled us all toward the shore and this crowd of people as iron to a magnet.
When we reached shore, he started to teach, to share wondrous truths that touch places deep within. Although I do not always understand what he says I always sense the power and the love, the grace that his words contain, even when those words convey hard, challenging truths. I love to watch him do what he does, to observe his expressive eyes, to witness his powerful yet tender touch, to recognize his tells those little face expressions, mannerism of Jesus that speak to even a greater truth, a deeper reality than what is seen and experienced in the moment.
Today was full of such observations, the coy way with which he challenged us to provide a meal for all who had gathered on that shore, the way he toyed with us, asking us to gather from among the crowd food to help feed these hungry souls, all the time his eyes glistening with delight, smiling in anticipation he was up to something. And then as he took what we had given him, a couple of fish and some bread, I saw, as he looked up to heaven, a twinkle in his eye and though he did not say anything, I was reminded in that moment of my own son, how when he was about to do something, something out of the ordinary, something that would amaze and confound, how he would look at me suppressing a smile, saying nothing but with smiling eyes communicate, all right, here we go, we can do this, and I would nod in unspoken agreement, all right lets do it. We are in this together. This is the sense I always had with Jesus his life was lived out of a place of connection with the Father.
In those next moments, Jesus took what we had given him, blessed it, broke it and then we shared
it with all those who were there must have been thousands there was more than enough. It was quite the day. But what I remember is that look, that brief look to the heavens, the acknowledgement that the Father and the Son are in this together. Jesus knew that he was not alone, in fact he depended on that truth. He lived a life of dependency on the Father, gathering strength, courage, encouragement from the truth that they were united in all that Jesus did, all that Jesus was.
As I reflect on that look to the heavens it reminds me of my need to continue to look toward my Father in heaven, the Father who declares that I am the beloved, one in whom He delights, resides in and is forever faithful to my Father in heaven who sustains and empowers me to live life each and every day.
God, help me to live with that internal awareness that you are with me loving me into this moment and the next with a love that I will never be separated from, a love that shapes who I am and fuels all that I do.
(Adapted from Mark 6:33-44 - v. 41 in particular)
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