One of my favorite scriptures in which I have rested and walked for many years is John's account of Jesus feeding five thousand people. When everyone finished eating, Jesus instructed the disciples, 'Gather the pieces left over; let us not waste a bit. So they gathered them all and filled twelve baskets with the pieces left over from the five barley loaves which the people had eaten.' (John 6:12-13)
We don't know what happened to the twelve baskets of crumbs. One commentary I read suggested the disciples and Jesus ate the crumbs because they were so busy caring for the people they had no time to eat. Others say Jesus and the disciples might have taken the baskets to distribute to the poor. Whatever happened, Jesus recognized the value of pieces and did not want them wasted.
Most of us gather pieces throughout our day. We gather thoughts to put in sentences. We gather ingredients to make a meal. Quilters gather pieces of fabric to make a quilt. Carpenters gather materials to make furniture or a home.
Birds gather pieces to make nests. Recently, I took a walk in my neighborhood and found two nests in a bush. I examined each one closely and noticed these pieces the birds gathered: tiny branches, bright green plastic netting, yarn, paper and plastic wrap.
"Even the birds know the value of pieces," I thought.
Pieces are important parts of the whole picture we call life. Gathering pieces in many different ways throughout the day can bring us to wholeness in living.
Just like Jesus realized the value of crumbs or pieces remaining from the bread, we, too, realize the value of all of the pieces of our days. Each is important and can reflect the many ways God is present.
Poem: When Jesus said,
"Gather the pieces
After the meal" -
He meant the crumbs,
But the people
Are pieces, too -
Pieces of God
Prayer: God, you are in the pieces as much as you are in the whole or complete parts of our lives. Knowing you are in all reminds us of the holiness of each moment. Amen.