My favorite account of Jesus feeding the thousands is in John, chapter 6, verses 1-13 because of verses 12 and 13: "When they were all full, he said to his disciples, 'Gather the pieces left over; let us not waste a bit.' So they gathered them all and filled twelve baskets with the pieces left over from the five barley loaves which the people had eaten."
John's gospel is the only account that mentions gathering the "leftovers." Jesus realized that the pieces were just as valuable as the loaves. Putting all of the pieces together enabled even more people to receive nourishment.
I was reminded of this story a few weeks ago. I have quilted for many years, and quilting is a way that I pray. I decided to go through my pile of unfinished projects, leftovers from finished projects, as well as pieces of fabric representing experiments of a particular technique. There was definitely a diverse collection of fabric, embroidery, applique, and a few pieces of paper that I used with fabric. I really did not want to throw away any of these pieces because each represented prayer as well as an image of my faith walk during the past several years.
Just like the crumbs of bread, my pieces were sacred because of the way God was part of the creation. So I randomly began to sew everything together. I disregarded color, pattern, as well as the expectation of making something that "looked nice." I gathered (and sewed) much like the disciples. I ended with a new quilt top, one that will continue to feed my heart and soul as I pray and finish the project.
Jesus gave us a model to value pieces as well as wholeness.
Thank you God for those pieces of who we are that when put together make us whole in you and in ourselves. Amen.
Jacquie Reed, Fishers, Indiana