Last week I made a date to spend the afternoon with a dear friend, who has 18 inches of brand new stitches down her back. The “before” MRI hanging backlit by the hospital window had shocked everyone (staff included) with its sharp 45 degree break in her spine. It’s a miracle she’s not paralyzed. The “after” surgery MRI hanging in her bedroom shows a straightened back, braced with enough titanium to build a small space station. She said Jesus helps her see it as her own beautiful Eiffel Tower.
As an afterthought, I said I would bring lunch. (This would prove to be a problem.) I wanted it to be homemade, and knew I had options in the fridge. But by the next morning everything was gone. I’m pretty creative, but I mean there was N-O-T-H-I-N-G to work with. Lots of people have access to our kitchen, so I’m used to changing plans…Plan B:
I’ll pick up something on the way, drive through…pay by credit card…I haven’t been out that way in a few years, what’s on that exit? it’s pretty remote…should I stop now and get something? No, there are new developments, surely there is food…(30 min later)…wow, there is NOTHING at this exit!… Should I turn around to get something? that’s 30 more min, she’ll be waiting, waiting… Jesus, help me. I’ve messed up…do You have anything between here and her house?….
I drive on in blind hope, or possibly denial, past lazy cows eating their lunch.
(10 min later)… NOTHING! Jesus, I’m panicking. I can’t show up without lunch….
Then, to my utter surprise, a little farm house pops up with a little FOOD trailer out in the side field, open for LUNCH. A few elderly men sit in the sunshine out front. My wheels screech to a dusty stop as I stare at them in disbelief. I’m about to shout Hallelujah! – when I realize, I rarely, rarely have cash.
While they watch in relaxed curiosity, I desperately dig in my wallet, finding 12 quarters. I recount them, needing more, but rather shocked I have them at all. Why don’t I carry cash?? I doubt $3.00 will buy anything, but deciding to play out this bluff, I walk up to the little screened window, prepared to order whatever they had, in trade for 12 quarters and possibly my firstborn.
The sign said: $3.00 for a barbeque sandwich, with slaw, even.
I taste a bit – it’s delicious. It’s homemade. It’s the exact price. (I find out later it’s only open 2 days a week, for 3 hrs.) It’s one hill and gully away from her house. Couldn’t have cut it any closer, Lord. You love her. You love me.
When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”….(about five thousand men were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted…they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.
My friend is laid up on her back in pain for weeks. Jesus did not prevent her deformity or injury. Surgery’s been hard. Jesus did not miraculously heal her. But He miraculously gave her lunch. Jesus is in her details.
Jesus is not miraculously healing my loved ones’ hidden disabilities. But His 12 quarter miracles remind me He is in the details of my life.
Are you in need today? I don’t know which prayers are unanswered, or how many quarters are in your wallet of life as you face hidden disabilities…but I am praying Jesus multiplies what you have in such a personal intimate way you know HE LOVES YOU.
He Holds Everything, Point of Grace
Being loved, and loving you,