During Jesus’ three year ministry He performed many miracles. One of the most well-known is the feeding of the five thousand. This is of course where Jesus took five loaves of bread and two fish, and fed all who were there. What is often forgotten however is that after all had eaten, and all were satisfied, he asked the disciples to go and pick up all that was left over!
What could possibly be left over? He fed five thousand people with just a bit of bread and a couple of fish. To think that there was any left is another miracle isn’t it? But he made sure that nothing went to waste.
According to the BBC news website the UK wastes a staggering 3.6 million tons of food. Read that figure again, 3.6 MILLION tons each year. That is just in the small place that we live in. I have not dared to look at how much is wasted worldwide.
So why am I telling you this?
Well it’s not to nag you into wasting less, though I am sure we could all do a lot more to reduce that figure, it is to set the scene for something quite different.
On Thursday night, directly after a deacons meeting, I went to meet Matt Cooper, to do the soup run in Norwich. It is a tough thing to do. Not because of what needs doing, feeding those who are present, but to see the need and the people who are there. It can be quite shocking if I’m honest, to see how young some are, and how hungry others are.
But the biggest shock of all came the very first time I did the soup run with Matt. You see sometimes we try and do our bit, but we are detached from those we are helping. We feel for their needs but we don’t really know where they have come from, their background or situation. But on that first occasion as I looked up to serve the person in front of me, there stood a man I had gone to school with. Someone who had sat next to me in several classes; a man who was the pride of our school every sports day; who has represented our county at long distance running. Later on in life he had represented our country as a soldier.
It hit me that those in need are not always unknown to us, they can be old friends even current friends that on the surface seem absolutely fine. I went home that night and prayed for him, laid him in the hands of our almighty father, I have not seen him since but pray that our lord is taking care of him.
I think of him whenever we throw away left over food. Sometimes we have things that we are blessed with and we can waste those too. That is for another day, but in the mean time I ask that you pray for those who are less fortunate than us.
God bless Paul