Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Miracle That Almost Didn’t Happen
      (A critique of the illiberal spirit)
                           by Jim Rapp

History’s most famous miracle (save one) –
the feeding of five thousand –
might not have happened
if that gathering had occurred
in modern times.

When Jesus told his followers, “You feed the crowd
with what you have,” they replied, “Impossible!”
 “Don’t tax us, Jesus! Everything we have
in Judas’ bag would not begin to meet the need.
Don’t tax us Jesus! We are nearly broke.”

It seems never to have dawned on them
that they should, nonetheless, empty Judas’ bag –
money, by the way, given to support their master –
to feed as many as they could;
to share “their wealth” to feed the poor.

We praise the boy who gave his lunch
as though he knew his gift
would meet the needs of thousands.
Not so! It was instead a child’s
instinctive wish to do what he could do.

The modern cry, “We’re broke!”
“We can’t continue feeding those
who failed to plan for their provision,”
is just an echo of the words
of Jesus’ stingy, faithless followers.

Our “Judas bag” is full and overflowing.
We spend our wealth in restaurants,
on auto dealer’s lots, at water parks,
resorts, and theaters, but clutch it to our side
when asked to feed and house the needy.

“I’m broke. Don’t take my hard earned cash
to feed, and house, and heal the lazy.
I made it on my own and they can too.
I’m broke, I’m broke . . . I made it on my own . . .
I’m broke, I’m broke . . . I made it . . .”

So what if we are broke? We’re not,
but if we were, then all the more
we need to share our final loaves and fishes –
gifts not to feed a hopeless cause –
gifts, instead, to seed a miracle.

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