It was the day after Thanksgiving. I had pecan pie for breakfast.
I love Thanksgiving leftovers, especially the good ‘leftovers’ of joy in my soul.
That Thursday was such a sweet day. I can ‘see’ the snapshots in my mind.
Jog-walking in the early morning fog, my first ‘Turkey Trot 5K.’
Sitting in the near-empty church chapel for the Thanksgiving service with Little Pookie, all cute and distracting in her pink tutu and red face mask.
Seeing GrandBoy after his nap, all handsome and Ivy League-looking in his miniature blue cotton sweater and khakis.
Daughter #1 from Canada sitting at a distance from our outdoor table. (She is isolating for 10 days.)
Face-timing with family far away.
Welcoming friends to share pies and Ethiopian coffee and conversation.
Cleaning up the kitchen in the quiet house (everyone else went for a walk) with Christmas music playing.
Life is so good. I had lots of leftover joy and I was praising God.
Thank you, dear Jesus, for my family, my health, my dear friends, our church, my faith. You have given me, oh, so much! I am so grateful!
But there were also some very sad leftovers in my mind.
Calling my neighbor who because of COVID spent yesterday alone.
Thinking of friends who are ill and others who are grieving.
Getting a whatsapp message from new friends in Lebanon, who are living with distressing suffering and dire needs in Beirut.
And then late that night, texting with some hopeless young people on a chatline (I am spiritual coach with a website called JesusCares.) — their stories are heartbreaking.
Life is so hard. I had lots of leftover grief and I was questioning God.
Oh, dear Jesus, doesn’t it tear You up to see all this misery in the world? Why don’t You do something?
Then I thought of Philip. Remember him? He was one of Jesus’ disciples.
There was that day when a great crowd had gathered to see Jesus and Jesus asked Philip, “Where can we find bread to feed all these people?”
The next verse in John 6:6 says, “He was testing Philip, for he already knew what he was going to do.”
Jesus knew what He was going to do, but Philip didn’t.
Philip didn’t know he was being tested.
He responded, stating the obvious, “It would take a small fortune to feed all these people!”
Then Jesus took a little boy’s lunch of five barley loaves and two fish and did that great miracle of multiplication.
And you remember, that after everyone ate their fill, there were twelve baskets full of leftovers of nourishing food, but I think there was more: the memory of that supernatural experience left joy and faith and love for Jesus in their souls.
Maybe Jesus is testing me.
He didn’t expect Philip to feed that crowd and He doesn’t expect me to heal all these hurting people.
He knows what He is going to do.
I should be able to trust Him quicker than Philip, because I know this story.
I can state the obvious, “Jesus, You know it would take a million miracles to help all these people!”
And I can expect Him to do something.
Something miraculous, so I know it is His doing.
Something practical, that I can pass out to others.
Something extravagantly generous and loving, with baskets of leftovers of joy and faith and love for Jesus.
Thank you, Jesus. You know both the deep gratitude and the real grief in my soul today. I will wait for You to act. With You there will always for good leftovers. Yes! And Amen.