Written on September 30, 2015. By Shari Norvell
A little boys face, covered in wonder, with hands first gingerly touching then deeply plunged into the grain I was milling for flour. My little Knight looked intensely into my eyes, gave a big grin and then sent a handful of grain across the kitchen. Why would he do such a thing? For the same reason a tiny human must jump into the middle of a puddle, find the lone muddy spot or eat an ice cream cone while the contents dribble down their arm. Wonder invites a response that leads to delight. And delight is not always clean. Sometimes its quite messy because of where it leads us from and to. We should all jump in more puddles. But I’ve gotten to the end before the “once upon a time.”
Once upon a time, a few weeks ago, it was Shabbat. Being a favorite of days, I was in the kitchen preparing. That had become a bit more difficult over the recent months as my Bosch (Incredible mixer, blender, food processor. And robot that brings me drinks. Okay, it doesn’t do the last one, but I think its just because I haven’t found that setting) had a motor go out after fifteen years of constant use. Originally, I thought I would just order a new one. I had no memory of how much it cost. So, it was Shabbat once more and I was using my old faithful on its last leg.
Now, I understand that an Old Testament Lady would grind the grain with a stone and knead the dough with her strong hands. But I am not an Old Testament Lady. I am a lady that loves the Old Testament. And in my modernness, I am able to recognize when things come straight from Heaven. All electronic things do not. But my Nutrimill and Bosch (imagine lots of light and angelic singing here) most certainly do. I can make pounds of flour in minutes followed by pounds of dough in a few more. With said dough, I can make three loaves a bread, two pizza crusts and a big batch of cinnamon rolls within an hour. Honestly, I don’t often make all that at one time, but I could, and that is heavenly.
I’ve gotten ahead of myself again, so let me rewind to a few days before. I awakened to an amazing dream from a lovely in California waiting in my email inbox. It was an ICU word that reminded me of much. My person was in his chair, covered with his tallit as he often is when I awaken. That sounded all cloud filled and romantic. Not so much, but I like the word awaken, so if it invoked visions like that, yay! So, I shared the dream at which point my person told me that he had just been talking with Pappa about me. Gulp! This can be a good thing or it can be a thing worked for good within a bit of time and heap of prayer.
What he shared with me was a completion to the dream in my email. Pappa rocks! What my person shared ended with the phrase, “Remember the fish and loaves candidate”. Those who know me well and have heard me talk often, breathe deeply. This blog is not about praying for who you think it is. I’m not saying in fifty five weeks one won’t be. I’m just saying this one isn’t. 🙂
For a week or more, Pappa had been talking to me about the multiplication of the fish and loaves and how that occurred during a time of Jubilee. Everyone around Jesus was not necessarily in sync with the season, but He was (lots to that, for another blog). He had already been in the temple, read the scroll from Isaiah, paused, rolled it up and rolled us out with a commission. In the year of our Lord (Jubilee), bring good news to the poor, bring wholeness to the brokenhearted, bring light to darkness, free the captives, comfort those who mourn. If I were to use a single word to encompass it all: ‘multiply’. Its meaning, “increase greatly, bear great fruit.”
So, when my person said the phrase to me that he did, I wasn’t so much shaken as held completely in place so I wouldn’t miss a thing. So as we prepared for Shabbat that Friday with a last leg mixer/blender combo, I was joyful in anticipation of what more Pappa would say and how amazingly He would say it. My person was going in and out the back door, checking on some bass on the grill. Bass on the grill. Earlier that day, and amazing man and fisherman had come to fish in one of our ponds. We were excited because we knew it would be great provision for his family. But at the end of his expedition, he gave the fish to us, saying that is why Pappa sent him. The bounty he gave was ten fish. Fish and loaves. I made the challah with a little extra vigor! These loaves must be pretty important if Pappa sent ten fish.
We had a lovely Shabbat and all felt to retire early. This gave the opportunity for a bubble bath while my person played guitar and wrote a song for the moments we were having. Getting out of the tub, I saw lights. The lights of a UPS truck. Checked the time and saw it was ten p.m. straight up. We have never gotten a delivery at ten p.m. even during the holidays. And in my heart, all I knew was Pappa had just made a special delivery. What was in the package you ask? A brand new Bosch from an unknown sender. Fish and Loaves. And ten again. Testimony.
I promptly ordered grain, the mill came out and the Bosch and I went for it! Yet, in the midst of all the flour and dough I could see so clearly. Multiply. Years before, when Pappa had begun talking about the “fish and loaves candidate,“ He also asked me what commodity I had to multiply. And in an “I will if you will” He said if I would multiply what I had, He would multiply all He had. For a year, every time I went through the laundry room to the garage, I would lay hands on my bucket of grain and multiply it. I didn’t tell it to multiply. I simply said it was multiplied. That one bucket of grain lasted one year. It began with enough grain to last one month, with the volume of flour I made.
Years of travel followed and I didn’t make our flour nearly as much. But Pappa had not forgotten. And He didn’t want me to forget either. In a moment with no one in the kitchen but me (not a normal thing in a home with eleven people) I ran my hands through a freshly milled bucket of flour, still warm and fragrant. And I wept. I wept in gratefulness for His faithfulness. I simply touched a bucket of grain day by day, believing not that it would multiply but that it was multiplied. That’s what I had, my “commodity”. What He had to multiply was me. I realized that through milling and baking, my longed for “girl license” finally came. I realized I was more than I thought, because of what He knew. My first teachings on prayer came from moments spent breaking open tiny pieces of grain so they could be multiplied. One cup of grain makes two cups of flour. Through the threshing, they could become more than they were right then. Covenant not condition. And as each piece of dough was formed or shaped into its ultimate destiny, I prayed for my little family, each member. I prayed for the now and the coming. For the test next week and the spouse in a few years. I multiplied. He multiplied. And there has been increase and the fruit is so, so, so good.
One of those fruits threw a handful of grain across the kitchen. He also helped me sweep it up. Delight is sometimes messy. It doesn’t always stay in a bucket, because increase causes it to overflow. In that MOMENTous, a little man and I jumped in a puddle. It just happened to be made of crunchy grain. There is always more if we will step in.
A few days ago, we gathered at Arubbah to welcome Sukkot. As a new day came, we got to see something none of us had seen before. A Super Blood Moon during a Lunar Eclipse. A legendary that none of us got a direct picture of. We Walter Mittied it. That is when you realize you will miss the moment if you try to capture it with anything but your heart. One reward of our heart capture is that amazing that we love who was elsewhere and has the gift of capturing things with her heart and camera, posted an astounding picture. I’m sure she put an incredible quote with it too. That’s who she is. We never miss a thing. Not ever, because we are together.
As we left, I carried a message. For there was more to that moon than it’s size and color. Within a few hours, we watched it go through all its cycles. The shofar cresent, the fulness of harvest, the sickle to gather. And then the red left, and shabbat came. The waxing, fulness, waning and rest of a month occurred in a few hours. Multiplied. A phenomenon and a reminder.
What commodity do you have that can be multiplied? What can you touch, impact affect and because of you, it becomes more?
Let Pappa refresh, remind and restore you to the celebration, that you are more than you think! How has He multiplied you, brought you to be more than you knew? How have you been increased by how He sees you? What risks, events, MOMENTouses had He used to multiply you? Journal all and then celebrate who you are. Heaven certainly is! That is part of its Jubilee! Delighting in you!
One more thing. Jump in a puddle.