Many of us who went to Sunday school know of the stories in the Bible where Jesus fed multitudes of people with only a handful of fishes and loaves of bread. These stories were examples of miracles, where all the glory could be given to God for the way he makes a way for His people to be provided for. No one was left out or left behind. Everyone was fed. This saying, “loaves and fishes” has been on my heart a lot lately. It’s either been repeated in my head or spoken out loud by someone, and I am reminded again and again that my God is truly one of miracles.
Last week on Sunday there was a mix up with our Second Harvest delivery and we ended up 100 meals short of the 100 meals we normally get to give out to our community for lunch on Monday. If you got your math right, that means we had 0 meals to give. So we got our thinking caps on that Monday morning and got to work. We put any and all food together that we could find in our freezers and fridges and tried with all our might to make a dignifying, satisfying, satiating meal to go. It was A LOT more work, a lot more time, and a lot more of a scramble (we are so thankful for Second Harvest, the meals they provide us usually each week, and for all the volunteers we had pre-pandemic that made kitchen work possible).
At the end of our morning prep time, Erinn and I were putting ladles of soup into cups to give out in line. We were mixing and pouring, adding soup here and there, readjusting, adding some water to the pot… anything to get just a couple more cups. In the midst of me handing her cups and her trying to make them fuller she looked over at me and said, “Fishes and loaves.” Well thanks be to God, there was enough soup for everyone in line that day… and a little extra left over. That never fails to boggle my mind. We had enough to give everyone and more, when we thought we would not have enough. What a miracle of God’s provision.
In another instance, last week as both my coworkers Jo and Olivia have written about, we had a boot fitting clinic outside our HQ at a church on Cowan Ave. The Meeting House Toronto has generously partnered with us over the past number of years. They had $2,000 to buy brand new boots for our community and came equipped last Sunday with the boots, sanitizer, PPE, shoe fitting devices, and a happy attitude. This day was nothing short of a kingdom kind of beautiful. It’s the story of a community so loved by God that each member who showed up miraculously got a pair of boots when we thought there wouldn’t be enough. You see, the number of boots sitting on the tables ready to give out seemed like way less the amount we needed for the feet waiting in a line that spanned all the way down the road. But somehow… somehow it all worked. For the three or so people who did not receive boots that day, there are funds for those people to be fitted with what they need. A dignifying, graceful, beautiful, left us in tears kind of day. Enough feet to fill boots, enough sizes of boots, enough patience in line, enough Grace. Fishes and loaves.
These kinds of things happen to us often, I have come to realize. They happen in big ways like the two stories told above and in seemingly smaller but no less important ways too. When there’s enough forgiveness to reconcile a heated argument, enough strength to get through each day, enough understanding when someone is different than you. All things miraculously provided by God when it seems there just wouldn’t be enough.
Working at The Dale means I have seen miracles happen before my eyes. Fishes and loaves have fed the multitudes. It never stops being awe inspiring, tear jerking, glory to God giving. As Jo put it on her blog, we don’t know why some things don’t happen just the way we want even if we pray as hard as we can, and we may never know. But I do know that I believe in the miracles that do happen just a little more these days. I hope you find some of your own this week.
I am a community worker at The Dale Ministries. For me, doing this work means inviting others into my journey of ministry – prayerfully and financially. If you would like to support the work that I do at The Dale, I would love to chat. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org