This morning I was reading the bible and came across the scriptures when Jesus fed the 5,000. Of course I’ve heard this story several times, but this time something jumped out to me. Now, I don’t want to be presumptuous and assume that you know the story, so here’s a brief synopsis:
After Jesus heard that John the Baptist was beheaded, he withdrew to a desolate place to grieve. The crowds followed him and he healed them in spite of his grieve. Evening then came and the disciples suggested that Jesus send them away because there was no food where they were. Jesus then asks what food is available and a young boy have 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread. Jesus then took them, blessed them, broke them and was able to feed 5,000 people. When everyone was done eating, the disciples took up what was left over which was 12 baskets full of broken pieces.
What is telling about this story is that the broken pieces outnumbered to whole pieces in the story. They started out with 5 full loaves of bread and 2 whole fish, but as the sequence of events would have it, they were left with more pieces. Even if the loaves and fish were broken up intentionally, twelve baskets wouldn’t be filled. This is kind of how it is in life. We start off whole when we enter the world, but slowly but surely, things begin to chip away at our being. The disappointments, lies, broken promises, hurts, and pain create more pieces than we realize and when we finally look at ourselves to take inventory of the damage we are met with baskets full of jagged pieces.
You may wonder where this piece came from, or when that thing merged itself with your personality. You may start to remember the events, times, days when something happened to you where you stopped believing, loving. But, remembering isn’t enough. What do you do when you see the pieces?
In essence, the pieces are evidence that an event has happened, that you’ve been wounded. It is evidence that you’ve been in a war, that you’ve survived. However, surviving isn’t enough when you haven’t healed. When you haven’t used those pieces to overcome, to influence, to shape the world for the better. Surviving will only provide momentary gratification because the pieces will still be the evidence.
What I am saying is that we see the broken pieces to deal with them and help others deal with theirs. We see the broken pieces to encourage us to move forward with the intent of healing. We see the broken pieces to encourage us towards God.