Mama had to care for the little ones;                           1

Papa had to be working on the farm;

But they were willing for their older sons

To hear the Preacher. They felt no alarm,

Had little fear that we would come to harm,

Knowing Philip and Andrew would be there.

I was in charge, and carried on my arm

The basket Mama packed with so much care,

So we’d have food to eat, and even some to share.

We really were not hungry while we heard Him:

Though we were young, we listened and we learned.

We saw the invalids whose presence stirred Him:

He paused, touched those who for their healing yearned,

Then to His wondrous homily returned,

For feeding souls is work He will continue.

Some things of course by us were undiscerned,

But once the Master’s precious words are in you,

They live and grow until the blessed day they win you.

When Jesus finished speaking, it was time

To eat, but since we all had stayed much later

Than we’d expected, hearing words sublime,

Our need for nourishment was now the greater.

Yet in deserted places who will cater

To wants, or even real necessities?

Not knowing they were with their own Creator,

The people, feeling faint, were ill at ease,

And who could find a way their hunger to appease?

Since we had Mama’s basket, we were blessed:

To meet our needs it would be quite effective.

But when all those around you are distressed,

It’s a good time to be a bit reflective.

And if you think your mom’s over-protective,

Then listen carefully to what I say.

You do not need to be a great detective

To comprehend what I learned on the day

The Lord made Mama’s basket more than a buffet.

The owners of the untried ass’s colt                        5  

Were simply told, “The Lord has need of it.”

For me, however, it was quite a jolt,

When Jesus made the crowd of people sit,

To see that Andrew thought I should submit

The lunches I had labored with so long.

A loaf I was quite tempted to omit,

But somehow I could tell it would be wrong

To hold back anything when Jesus fed the throng.

From nothing Jesus could have fed us all;

He also could have turned the stones to bread.

Because all four evangelists recall

The miracle, its fame has further spread

Than many others’; yet they never said

Why the feeding was so honored and unique.

With loaves and fishes Christ the thousands fed,

When prospects for their nourishment were bleak;

And why He used our lunches we are free to seek.

One simple reason won’t exclude all others:

There may be many that I cannot reach.

But I think Christ was honoring the mothers

Who always tuck an apple or a peach

Into our bags, who every day beseech

Their children to bring clothing for the rain.

Because we disregard their loving speech,

And of their care too frequntly complain,

The Lord used Mama’s basket His people to sustain.

It’s heavy lugging so much food around,

While other children laugh at you or stare.

But just as Christ the servants’ labor crowned

At Cana, loaves that Mama did prepare

With all her customary love and care,

He held, He broke, and He forever blessed.

Our Maker chose to make it His affair

To honor all the mothers who have stressed

The need to be well-nourished, however we protest.

Whom Christ has honored, we should honor too.

I ran home, breathless, stammering, and pale:

“You won’t believe what I saw Jesus do!”

Sometimes we tell the truth to no avail:

Though I described His actions in detail,

It was more than my parents could believe.

The neighbors came, and said it was no tale:

They saw the man from Nazareth relieve

The masses with our lunches—and twelve baskets leave.

Papa and Mama both were so amazed,                          10

It was a while till they apologized.

Our whole community was much too dazed,

Incredulous, astonished, and surprised,

For what had happened to be analyzed,

For us to make much sense of everything.

Later the people were more organized,

And tried to make the carpenter their king,

Not conscious of the trouble that would surely bring.

Christ has a kingdom, far beyond our sphere;

His subjects with the Bread of life He feeds.

He told the people truths they would not hear:

Because they were too focused on His deeds,

And on the bread which met their bodies’ needs,

His living bread and water they declined.

The man is wiser who the Master heeds,

Who thinks of more than whether he has dined,

And all that’s in his basket to Jesus has resigned.

There is no way you can outgive the Lord.

I gave two fish, and loaves of barley bread,

But He gave me a truly great reward—

Faith to believe in every word He said,

In miracles, as when He raised the dead,

And in His Kingdom far beyond the skies.

There He receives the souls whom He will wed,

Who find His company is all they prize,

The Bride who hears Him speak, and parts with Her supplies.


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