It is as if every day at Church for All People pushes the limits of my faith.
Friday’s are “Soup for the Soul” days. As the Free Store is winding dow, our friends from Jerome UMC bring pots of homemade soup, sandwiches, bread, juice, and milk to share with our community.
The combination of shoppers and eaters can mean a lot of people in a small space. Today felt like a day that could have gone wrong. There were so many people it was standing room only, people stood leaning against the walls, and when the soup arrived there were only four pots.
When it was time to bless the food, I announced we had a shortage of soup and wouldn’t be able to give seconds or to go containers. I asked people to share.
My fears of scarcity in a crowded room soon were eclipsed by abundance.
People passed through the line quickly and smoothly without incident. Everyone was fed, well over 100 people, the environment was peaceful, and there were still three pots of soup left over.
I was puzzled. How did this just happen?
Todd, who leads the Soup for the Soul, was not surprised. He said this kind of thing happens all the time. He keeps ladling the soup and the pot still has soup. He said, “anyone who doesn’t believe just needs to come see it.”
We had soup for everyone. Soup for seconds. Soup for takeaways. Enough for all and more left over.
Our post-enlightenment minds wants to deconstruct miracles. We offer that maybe the stories of Jesus dividing the loaves and fish were about sharing because the math of abundance doesn’t add up.
Maybe our struggle with miracles is not that they don’t square with science, but that we live in such comfort we don’t provide room to be awed by God’s genoristy.
Today, I once again saw God’s abundance in a way that left me smiling and humbled as my fears were dwarfed by God’s creative work.