(Yes, as a matter of fact, someone did. It’s today’s challenge to any and all wordpress bloggers who, like me, type into the void.) The challenge is…drumroll please… to explain why we chose our blog’s name.
Fish and a Biscuit owes its name to a poem I choked out (see below) when a child of mine struggled through the deep waters of a “rogue-wave” life-challenge that swept into his life and knocked him headfirst onto the beach, rattled and breathless. It was not a life or death illness ordeal, and this brought perspective to the hard days, but it broke his heart for a time, and changed the trajectory of his life substantially as it closed the door on some of his childhood dreams.
Any parent knows the invisible but deeply visceral cord of empathy that wraps around your heart and mind the moment your child struggles for his or her first breath. As much as we would sometimes like to deaden the sensitive nerve fibers of this cord, we cannot. And really, even if we could, would we?
Our children’s successes, struggles, little victories, and painful defeats touch us deeply. Sometimes we can find a way to help them, ease their way a bit, and we welcome these times. Other times, we are powerless. We weep as we find we can only walk alongside, listen, and apply little poultices of kindness to their wounds, but we cannot solve or deliver.
This feels like a very bad thing.
But is it?
My solutions are, by their very nature, limited and born of small perspective and finite resources. “Cut and run” and “Fall back!” are probably apt descriptions of my initial response to what I have come to call “The Hard”, even while I prefer to model a healthy sense of adventure.
But, after a good deal of doubt and wrestling (read that phrase again, it flies by too fast to really carry the sense of time involved), I have come to firmly believe that there is Another, who, while cloaked in much mystery, cares not “from a distance” but prefers up close and personal and wraps this aching, parental cord around His Father heart as well. This is good news to me.
Most days, I am willing to accept the caveat of mystery that shrouds Him and gladly accept His invitation to the brokenhearted and the weak. “The Hard” will always be with us, but these days I know where, and whom to take it to. Try to swallow some incredulity with me, and see if He will not provide.
Fish and a Biscuit
Feeling empty-handed and inadequate,
Longing to deliver healing and joy,
I sit down next to you as you face
A turbulent sea,
And try to figure how to cross.
I want a staff like Moses’
Authority from Yahweh himself,
To part the waters, make a path
Across the troubling deep.
I want a voice like Jesus’
He slept through a storm, but woke to say,
“Peace, Be Still.”
And the threatening storm obeyed.
I want a faith like Paul’s.
He prayed and chains fell off.
But many more nights
No rescue came, and yet he praised you still.
I want courage like Andrew
A hillside of hungry folk to feed- with what?
A small boy’s lunch?
Smirks be damned, he brought it to his Master
And the entire crowd was fed.
I see your need, I hear your pain,
And all I feel I have:
A handful of fish and a measly biscuit.
Inadequate, I cannot meet your need.
So, swallowing pride, I hand over our impossibilities
To the Merciful One
Who, it seems, loves to fill
An empty hand and an expectant heart.
Lord, turn our shortage to abundance.
Bring victory in this trial.
Make feast from fish and a biscuit.
kpeterson February 2013