For five weeks this summer we are reading variations John 6:35 and Jesus as the bread of life. It’s perfect timing really because I need some bread. I have all that sustains me physically but spiritually things have been rough. For the last 12 weeks my 17 year-old-daughter has been gone. The first 10 weeks she was in a wilderness therapy program and now she’s in a long-term residential treatment center.
I can relate to the people coming after Jesus for more. Just give me more, more food, more tricks, more miracles, make me ok. Let me fill this hole of pain, despair, grief, and loss with something, but please don’t tell me some story about how you are the bread of life and whoever comes to me will never be hungry or thirsty, because the pain is too great and the despair to debilitating and loss to deep and I might not be able to crawl through it to get to you in time. So, if you could just let me win the lottery, or maybe I’ll just go shopping, or exercise some more, or spend more time on Facebook that would be awesome.
But I’ve come too far, I’ve been sober too long, I’ve been down the road of grief before and every time, I’ve survived. But not only have I survived, in the traveling to God, crawling back to Jesus, when standing on my own two legs was impossible, I did find healing in the heavenly bread and water. Because only love can heal these wounds and for me that love is the love of God as expressed in the love, mercy, healing and life-giving ministry of Jesus from Nazareth. Hope is not in Starbucks, or the gym, or H & M, although the part of me that wants a quick fix sure as hell wishes it was. Hope, healing, forgiveness, grace is in the moment I get quiet and settle into place where God is, and Jesus meets me with opens arms and hugs me tight.