So this morning I was praying with the passage from Mark, chapter 8 when Jesus and his disciples get into a boat. Jesus has just fed 4,000 people with seven loaves of bread and a few small fish. Now they have one loaf of bread with them. Jesus is ruminating about the Pharisees because they just demanded a sign from him. So he instructs the disciples to beware of the "yeast of the Pharisees and Herod." Yeast is something that causes activity. When I read through the gospels, I notice that the activity of the Pharisees and Herod centers around their own security, control, and esteem. And when Jesus warns the disciples about disordered attachment to the world's agenda for security, control, and esteem, they don't get it. They are distracted, worried about lack. "We have no bread," they say.
Jesus is dumbfounded.
The disciples were trying to manage their meal. They thought they had to provide for themselves. Like Martha, they were worried about many things. And Jesus gets frustrated with them, asking question after question culminating with, "Do you not yet understand?"
And so I hear God calling me into remembrance, as well.
Ani, why are you talking about "having no bread"?
Ani, do you still not perceive or understand?
Ani, is your heart hardened?
Ani, do you have eyes and fail to see?
Ani, do you have ears and fail to hear?
And Ani, do you not remember . . . when I gave you the grace to coexist with your parents' pain during their separation? . . . to have the fortitude to persevere through your own pain at the level of deception engineered by your dad and then to regain hope in the goodness of humankind? . . . when I gave you the strength to assist in your dad's care when he was ill, when I gave you the courage to hold his hand when he was dying and to move through that enormous well of grief? . . . when I companioned you through the devastation of your divorce? . . . when I gave you the grace of faith and simple presence when Joshua's appendix ruptured? . . . when I carried you when Zack got food poisoning overseas? . . . when I equipped you to deal with all aspects of your mother's care when she broke her leg?
Just to name a few.
Ani, do you not remember that I have always been there for you and provided for your every need--emotional, spiritual, physical, financial?
Do you not yet understand?
And the Holy Spirit reminds me that I have been "blessed . . . in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places," and chosen "in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love." I hear St. Paul reassuring, "God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus."
The still, small voice says, "You are always with me, and all that I have is yours."
And the light dawns, "So what you are saying, Lord, is that I do not have to provide for myself?" And I return to Step One, "I am powerless and cannot manage anything." Apparently I have daily amnesia, hence the slogan: One day at a time. Give us THIS day our daily bread.
I already have every spiritual blessing.
I am now, and always, holy and blameless, enveloped in love before my Source.
My every need is satisfied as it arises.
The resources of the One who creates, sustains, and loves it all are continuously at my disposable.
"God is Maker, Keeper, and Lover," is the insight of Julian and all mystics from all times.
Ani, do you not yet understand? You do not have to provide for yourself. You do not have to manage anything.
And I remember that Jesus broke the bread and gave thanks.
"Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."
"Daddy, give me this day my daily provision."
"Thank you for making me."
"Thank you for sustaining me."
"Thank you for loving me."