Fourteen-year-old Rebecca pressed closer to her young husband. She felt uncomfortable even in small crowds and this one stretched out as far as she could see…well almost. She pressed her hand protectively against her stomach and wished the nausea would go away just for a moment.
Then the Voice she loved, the Voice that made her get out of her bed of misery to listen to as often as possible, was speaking. It was Jesus, her wonderful hero Jesus. A tiny smile lifted the corners of her mouth as He instructed the multitude to sit down. She was able to swallow the lump of fear lodged in her throat as she remembered that not even once had the crowd become exceptionally disorderly and riotous in the presence of the Man from Galilee.
As she watched Him speaking to His disciples, she saw a young lad step forward with a small basket and one of His followers lifted out a loaf of barley bread. Rebecca’s stomach growled: she hadn’t eaten properly in weeks and now she was hungry, were they only going to feed the tiny lunch to their Master while the rest looked on? She felt ashamed of her selfishness but then Jesus was asking them to all rise for prayer. As He blessed the food, Rebecca felt warmed and satisfied, somehow everything would work out.
Now Jesus was breaking up the loaves and fishes and after a few gasps of astonishment, some nearby workers lugged a stack of fishing baskets over, heaped them with the miraculous food and handed them out to the crowds.
Rebecca took her portion and ate it almost reverently. When He said ‘gather up the fragments that none be lost’ she wondered if He was referring to more than food. She wanted to gather up the memories of being with Jesus and cherish them.