“We can devote ourselves to striving after success and popularity, or we can notice the least likely to succeed parts of ourselves—What? All you have is one little boy with a few loaves and fish?—and imagine them new. Our child heart is open; it offers what it has, saying not a word about what it has not. What good will come from such a small offering? Yet ages since, we still ponder the outcome: “Gather up the fragments left over,” Jesus says, “so that nothing may be lost.” If we fall under the trance of success and popularity, we risk overlooking the power of crumbs. What is left over when we have nothing more to give, is enough. Immense potential lives among the fragments.” (Kayla McClurg in Inward Outward.)
Inadequacy and insecurity dog us from the time in childhood when we recognized that Mommy (or another significant person) loves other people, too, (maybe even more!) until we fade away from this earth into the Kingdom of Heaven – where we will all feel perfectly loved and will love perfectly. Until then we must learn to do battle with the narrative that tells us we must be perfect, or certainly on the road to perfection. We must put to death the counter narrative that whispers that try as we may we, are incapable of being good enough.
Kayla McClurg shares different perspective (the true narrative): whatever we have to offer is sufficient. This, of course, is also Jesus’ perspective. As apprentices of Jesus we are called to gather up what we have. We are cautioned to not overlook any crumb of who we are because something significant will be lost. Then we are to offer it to him and the potential will grow exponentially! This idea is eye-popping and soul-opening. Not only are our gifts and talents of great value but even the tiniest grain of potential we have is worth turning over to Jesus and cultivating.
I am a teacher at heart. I have taught formally, informally, and subconsciously my entire life. When I retired a little more than a year ago, I knew I wouldn’t be teaching anything formally any time soon; I felt a little sad. It wasn’t too much later that I realized that the blog I love writing is really a teaching opportunity. And recently I understood that a small writing group I had organized was really a mentoring opportunity. We can learn to use every grain.
That’s our challenge and opportunity no matter what our age. We can maximize our potential by giving all of our loaves and fishes – even the crumbs and bones – to Jesus.
Bless you Karen for this beautiful lesson! It is exactly the encouragement I needed to read today!