Feeding Time

“Jesus said, ‘Have the people sit down.’ There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them.” –John 6:10

Plenty of grass.

Of all the many facets that make up the miracle known as the “Feeding of the 5000” – this mention of grass is the one upon which my heart lingers. In days past, I’ve spent most of my time focusing on the other (some would say more important) components of the story—the boy and his surrender of loaves and fishes, the size of the crowd, the multiplication of sustenance, the distribution therein, and the collection of leftovers. Each one of them is a miracle framed within the bigger picture. I suppose there were other miracles that day … 5000+ homes represented, lives changed, stories rewritten … how could there not be?

Wherever Jesus walks, whomever Jesus touches, this is the stuff of miracles.

But for me, today, it’s the green grass and the abundance therein that captures my attention (I’m thankful for Mark’s Gospel which includes the detail of greenness.). Like the 5000 of so long ago, I, too, follow Jesus to the hillside—a remote region outside the buzz of the city—in hopes of a miracle for myself. Not a big one as miracles go. Nothing front page worthy. Just a little green grass that belongs to me and a little time with Jesus. To hear his voice and to be fed by his hand, well, this is the miracle that I’m interested in.

In a life that is often too busy, too distracted, too worn out from worry, and too willing to sit down in pastures less green and more polluted, it is difficult to follow the Shepherd’s lead to the other side of the lake, much less make the climb to greener pastures. Following after Jesus requires deep devotion—a strong resolve to be where he is and an even stronger follow-through to get there … to stay there until the soul’s hunger is satisfied in his meadows of lush abundance.

Oh the meadow, rich and green,
It waits for me beyond this scene,
That blocks my view and crowds my heart,
That stifles me from taking part …

In grace abundant from Your hand,
Loaves and fishes at Your command;
Given freely in this place,
This patch of green, this gift of space.

To call my own, my time with Thee,
A sacred spot reserved for me;
To stretch my limbs, to rest my soul,
To find the peace that makes me whole.

I see it there, just up the hill,
A tiny dot of verdant thrill;
Some holy ground within heart’s reach,
It won’t be long now, I’m at the beach.

I’ll make the climb, I’ll do my part;
You’ll do the rest, it’s in your heart.
To give me best, to fill my ache,
My longed-for miracle beside the lake.

From long ago to moments now,
Your grass still sways in humble bow;
To receive those pilgrims weary-worn,
To nurture aches, to bind what’s torn.

Indeed the meadow, rich and green!
It waits for all beyond this scene.
So make the choice, do the climb;
Lift up your eyes, it’s feeding time.  {f. elaine olsen, 2-21-15, all rights reserved.}

It’s feeding time, friends. I’ll meet you on the hillside and, together, we’ll rest and we’ll dine in holy measure from the Father’s hand. As always …

Peace for the journey,

6 Responses to Feeding Time

  1. Poetry? Seriously! Is there ANYthing you don’t do well?
    Your insight & well-expressed thoughts brought an old Amy Grant song to mind (you’re probably not old enough to remember it): ♪ The Lord has a will and I have a need To follow that will, to humbly be still To rest in it, nest in it Fully be blessed in it Following my Father’s will ♪
    I know HE knows the need of your heart. May you find His rest at many levels and in the most unexpected places. ♥

  2. Rest in the arms of the shepherd, dear friend. Let His love re-fill your cup to overflowing. These are precious times of refreshing He alone can provide. Much love to you, dear friend.

  3. Elaine, I never knew you wrote poetry! That is amazing! As I read it, my mind wandered to Psalm 23….the Lord is my Shepherd…always leading us to still waters and green pastures.

    I have to tell you a funny story since you mentioned the feeding of the 5000. We visited the site of the miracle on both of my trips to Israel. It is a beautiful place with lots of green grass. At one point, we stopped as a group in a grassy spot for my pastor to share a few words from the miracle. As he was talking, I looked down near where I was standing……at the site of the largest picnic the world had ever know. I looked down and there was a sign that said, “No picnicking.” It just struck me as funny, and I could barely control myself.

    Love you friend.

  4. What an amazing visual you have painted as my heart has paused over a patch of grasss. Yes, it was there in abundance, but my focus is drawn to the little spot where rest is reserved for me. Is it overgrown and weed filled due to lack of constant care? Or, does it show evidence of one recently and constantly coming, sitting at His feet, and spending time with Him? Just a glance at the spot where Jesus looks for me will tell the story of my presence. The appearance of the grass gives me away, as does the attitude of my heart. Yes, even among a crowd of 5000 Christ knows if I’m missing. He has a place of quiet rest provided for me..just me…and I come now…kneel and worship.


  5. Love this, Elaine — the poem AND the way you point us to the green grass we might not otherwise think about. How I love it when something new jumps out at us from the scriptures. Yes indeed, friend, I’ll meet you there on the hillside. Blessings!

  6. Elaine, that was a simply beautiful poem! Your writing talents have no end. I just love when the Lord brings us to something new in a familiar story. I have never noticed the mention of grass in this scene from the Bible. And yet, it’s perfect. I was reminded of Psalm 23 (The Message):

    “You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
    you find me quiet pools to drink from.
    True to your word,
    you let me catch my breath
    and send me in the right direction.”

    Yes, I journey with you to the green hillside, where we will rest our weary souls, and be fed.


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