Gather up the Fragments

Gather up the Fragments: a poetic reflection on John 6:1-15

Daily Office Readings for Friday, January 28,  2022: AM Psalm 40, 54; PM Psalm 51

Gen. 17:15-27; Heb. 10:11-25; John 6:1-15

“Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.”

I’ve always wondered

what became

of those twelve baskets of bread crumbs.

Did the disciples take some with them,

much in the way

I’m allowed to take home

some food for my supper

for having volunteered at the food pantry?


Did they feast on one of the baskets themselves,

laughing, and smiling, and still 

in slight disbelief?

Did they give them all away,

as people left with the crowd?

Did they take some to the synagogue

and plop them down on the altar as a tithe,

and say,

“Give thanks for God’s goodness?”


Perhaps the bigger miracle

was not the transformation of five loaves

and two fishes

into something more.

Perhaps it was

that the disciples

somehow managed to gather up all the crumbs,

and no crumb was left behind…

Is it possible that every crumb

found its way into a human digestive tract?

Because none of us, to my knowledge, 

has ever managed

to gather up all the crumbs


And we are left

to our own imaginations

to speculate on the fate of the crumbs.

Is it possible

that this story

is as much about 

leaving no one behind

even if the world sees “a crumb”


in the end,

crumbs are what composes abundance?

Maria Evans splits her week between being a pathologist and laboratory director in Kirksville, MO, and gratefully serving in the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri , as Interim Priest at Trinity-St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Hannibal, MO.


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