My Mom made the most amazing fresh rolls from scratch growing up. Mostly created for Thanksgiving and Christmas, Mom would work her dough with her hands on the kitchen table, then press the batter into rectangular pans and bake. I'm not sure what her ingredients were, but when the finished product came out of the oven the golden brown color caused instantaneous saliva to seep from the corners of my mouth!
My favorite way to eat Mom's fresh rolls was slabbing a roll with butter then place some honey ham on top, then heating the package up in the microwave. A slice of heaven!
Dad loved to fish. I remember us boys following Dad in a line along a long trail to one of his fishing spots. He liked to catch small and large mouth bass, walleye and catfish, but his favorite was crappie. We never owned a boat, so always looked for the best spots to fish from the bank. Dad would often drift off by himself to find a better spot. Coming home, Mom would clean the fish and fry them for supper, adding her amazing cornbread and fried 'taters' and sliced tomatoes from the garden.
Both my parents have now passed, and these memories came to me the other day as I read about Jesus feeding the multitude with just a few loaves of bread and two fish the disciples got from a lad. He took the ordinary and made it into something extraordinary. He multiplied the bread and fish to not only feed the people, but to also show who He was - the maker of all.
My Mom and Dad took the ordinary items of bread and fish and made memories for us kids that have multiplied over the years. They took what seemed ordinary and made it into something extraordinary. In their simple, modest way they showed extraordinary love and provision with rolls and fried crappie. And the memories--conversations with Mom while she worked on her bread, listening to Dad hum as we drove to the fishing spot, walking behind him and staring at his work boots as he navigated the trail, seemingly insignificant memories that have however multiplied in my soul, helping shape the type of person I am today.
Jesus turned water into wine, multiplied bread and fish, calmed the stormy sea, and healed those who were sick. To those who followed Him, however, I believe the greatest acts of provision were His consistent presense and confidence in who they would become.
Jesus loved His followers to the end, as it says in John 13:1. He loves you and I until our end, and wants to multiply His love in and through us while we reside in this broken world to a hungry, wayward people. My Mom and Dad taught me, in their simple way, that multiplied love occurs slowly and surely through consistent acts of care and provision.
Like rolls and crappie.