Feeding, Being Fed
“The question of bread for myself is a material question, but the question of bread for my neighbor is a spiritual question.” Nikolai Berdyaev. Synthesis Today Quote for August 7, 2018 www.synthesispub.com.
Certainly Jesus gives us continued examples of his feeding thousands as well as going to eat at the home of others, often with the most despised such as Zacchaeus and Matthew, tax collectors. Jesus feeds others, and he lets others feed him. A role model. For Christians, Jesus leaves us with another meal, the Eucharist of bread and wine, a sacrament reminding us and bringing his presence to us.
When I am having difficulty with someone, I imagine us together at the altar rail kneeling if possible to receive the bread and the wine of the Eucharist. Jesus is with us. I see the person in a different light. Sometimes I can see the Christ within them.
I have given up trying to understand why eating a meal with someone else can help us to develop a relationship faster than spending hours talking to that person. As we are being fed, we see the person in a different light. Often, we can carry on a deeper conversation when food is present. It is almost as if the food is a natural ice breaker.
I remember my medical practice where I worked with nine other physicians who were very different with different gifts who were advocates for different parts of our practice. Each person wanted his area to be funded and fully staffed. One day we decided to have lunch together once a week to try to work through the issues we had difficulty with at these other decision-making meetings. The situation changed almost overnight. We began to see the needs of each other in our many areas of interest. We began to prioritize what was really most needed for the patients we were caring for instead of focusing on our own needs.
Some of us even became life-long friends!