The following meditation was written by Dr. Michael Brown,
our Distinguished Preacher on January 26, 2020.
“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish,
but how far will they go among so many?”
John 6:9 (New Living Translation)
A friend of mine who is retired was shopping at a local grocery store on a Monday morning when he spotted a young clerk with several carts full of flowers. The carts were parked beside the rear exit from the store. “Are you going to deliver those somewhere?,” my friend asked, adding, “because they really are pretty.” The clerk replied, “No sir. These are the arrangements that didn’t sell over the weekend. So, every Monday we put them in the dumpster out back. Next weekend we’ll have new ones.”
My friend had a sudden epiphany. “Those are beautiful flowers. They could brighten somebody’s day. I’m retired and have the time to deliver them. So, why not put them in my SUV rather than the grocery’s dumpster?” After a brief chat with the store’s manager, my friend was off with two bags of groceries and twelve arrangements of flowers. He took six arrangements to a nursing care facility and four to a hospice house. The remaining two he delivered at midnight, taking them to the ER of a local hospital as a gesture of appreciation to the nurses who worked there.
Soon he was stopping by the grocery store every Monday to pick up flowers, which he then delivered to residential or medical helping agencies all over town. Word about that began to leak out from employees at the agencies to their neighbors and friends. The result was that now my friend has a team of volunteers who assist in his flower ministry. A national food chain with an outlet near his town has also gotten on board, promising its own cache of flowers on Mondays. The end result is that now community hospitals, the hospice center, nursing care facilities, rehab units, the VA residential care home, schools, and churches where my friend lives have fresh floral arrangements every Monday to provide beauty and comfort throughout the week. And it all started because one man, possessed by just one idea, did one seemingly small thing.
A crowd of “five thousand men, plus women and children” were hungry. A child stepped forward with “five loaves and two fish.” And when he gave what little he had, Jesus did a lot with it. Our dreams, desires, and deeds may seem small. But when given to Jesus, their impact can become greater than we ever dared to dream or imagine. Never underestimate the power of being one person, possessed of one idea, and doing one seemingly small thing for Christ and for people.