September 3rd, 2005


New Member
Jesus said to [the disciples], "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry."

-John 6:35 (NRSV)

DURING college, I worked for an emergency home-repair ministry in Appalachia. One summer, my crew and I worked on the home of a woman named Lily. She and her family, like many other households in the region, often had to choose which expenses to pay every month. When Lily told me she regularly skipped meals so her children could eat, I felt heat rising up in my face that rivaled the summer day. I suddenly wanted millions of dollars to distribute to every family I had ever served. I wanted to see them eating steak every night, driving beautiful new cars, and owning anything they had ever desired.

Lily read my face and sought to comfort me. "Don't you worry," she said. "I don't eat breakfast in the morning, but I say my prayers." Then she laughed as she told me, "Jesus is my breakfast!"

Though her physical need for food was very real, Lily had chosen to interpret literally Jesus' words in John 6:35. My dreams for her were material, but she kept her focus on Jesus, who is the primary source of strength for us all, regardless of economic condition.

Erin Tocknell (Montana, U.S.A.)

Dear God, often we look to ourselves to fulfill our earthly needs when we should focus on you. Forgive us, and help us to remember to seek you and your love rather than any material desires of the moment. Amen.