Now Jesus summoned His disciples and said, “I have compassion on the crowd, because they’ve already stayed with Me three days and have nothing to eat. I don’t want to send them away hungry; otherwise they might collapse on the way.” – Matthew 15:32
Jesus had compassion. He loved being with people. He encouraged them. He fed them. The miraculous feeding of thousands of people is the only miracle recorded in all four gospels, except for the Resurrection. It wasn’t the raising of the dead or healing the blind that captured the attention of so many people. It was feeding them.
This event would be equivalent today of filling an entire stadium with people, who have come to hear and see Jesus, and Jesus feeds them all from nothing. It was recorded four different times by four different men, and witnessed by thousands. Matthew even tells of it happening twice. If this event were not true, they would have easily been discredited. But they weren’t. Jesus can make something out of nothing. He can fill your needs.
As we begin this wonderful holiday season of Thanksgiving and Christmas, share your food, be compassionate, and help others. You will be blessed.
~ Matthew 15:32-37 Feeding of 4,000 ~
The disciples said to Him, “Where could we get enough bread in this desolate place to fill such a crowd?”
“How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked them.
“Seven,” they said, “and a few small fish.”
After commanding the crowd to sit down on the ground, Jesus took the seven loaves and the fish, and He gave thanks, broke them, and kept on giving them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were filled.
“Maggie darted about like a black-stockinged bird, in search of wood for the fireplace. She and her grandmother lived at the edge of a lonely cranberry bog in New England, and the winds were cold at the edge of the sea.” (Cranberry Thanksgiving, Wende and Harry Devlin, 1971)
These words were magical to me as young child. They are the beginning of the classic children’s book, Cranberry Thanksgiving, by Wende and Harry Devlin. First written in 1971, the book had a huge impact on me as a child, and I never forgot its meaning or its captivating pictures. As a 7-year-old girl, I was already old enough to know the world could be a confusing place. People could be unkind, though I didn’t know why. Some people had a lot less, though I didn’t know why. And some people seemed to be valued more than others, though I didn’t know why.
In this book is where I first learned that appearances were not always as they seemed to be. In the story, Maggie is a young girl about my age, whose friend was called Mr. Whiskers. “Too many whiskers and not enough soap,” her grandmother would say. Mr. Horace, on the other hand, was a well-dressed gentleman who “smelled of lavender, pink-cheeked and starched.” They were both invited to Grandmother’s Thanksgiving Feast of corn pudding, roast turkey and pumpkin pie, and Grandmother’s famous secret recipe of cranberry bread, of which she was suspicious that someone was there to steal it. The house at the end of the cranberry bog was cozy, where the “red carpet was worn and the silver spoons didn’t match”, but that didn’t matter. It was a welcoming and comforting place for me to imagine as a young child. By the end of the story, the recipe-stealing villain turns out to be the starched Mr. Horace, not the suspecting Mr. Whiskers. Mr. Whiskers’ words resonated with me as he spoke, “Don’t trust a man because he smells of lavender and has a gold cane”. Those were good words to remember then and today, especially in this sometimes still confusing adult world we live in. The 1970’s drawings in the book with its earth-toned colors and sketches take me back to that simple time. I highly recommend reading this book to a child or adding it to your own collection.
The magical New England cranberry bog. Mr. Horace and Mr. Whiskers.
(all quotes and pictures in this post are from Cranberry Thanksgiving, Wende and Harry Devlin, 1971)
Happy Thanksgiving Day!
This is the one day in America, where our country stops to give thanks to God for all our blessings. No other country has a day quite like this. And I believe God still smiles upon America on this special day, as we give thanks to the God who provides.