What stands out to me in John 6:1-12 is that the disciples were certain there was not enough bread and fish to feed the crowd, but when Jesus blessed the food and shared it there were buckets full left over. I’ve always wondered what the miracle was – did Jesus miraculously multiply the food so there was more appearing like Commander Data in a Star Trek replicator? Or was it more that in getting a few to give their part, others were inspired to not be stingy with provisions so that the true wealth of the community was revealed as people discovered generosity?
I do not know still. But what I do know is this story calls into question our belief in scarcity. We believe that there is not enough for all and we must hoard our time, our treasure, our resources lest we go without. Yet Jesus shows that choosing to include others in what we have while inviting them to share will reveal there is more than enough for everyone. If we will give up our need to control outcome, trust Jesus, and begin to more openly share we can see miracles of resources being found and shared that we were not aware was with us.
This is not just mystical truth but reality. Social scientists tell us, for instance, that despite our fears that if we give to the poor of other countries our own will go with want, that in fact there is enough food and healthcare so that no one ought to go without food or proper treatment. Yet it exists in overabundance, beyond what is needed, in some areas – so much that they struggle with obesity – and totally non-existent in others. If we learn to open our hands, our hearts, our lives, to share we can find that there truly is more than enough. If we learn to do that, what problems might we solve? And what solutions might we find?