In the morning, I gather manna.
It falls from heaven in yellows and blues and greens. It drips from words and music. It sits like lace under dew all soft and hoary. I want to scoop beauty up in great armfuls, hide these honey-wafers in my tent—but I know this is not the good way. I have smelled the stench of trusting in what my hands can hold; I have watched the teeming maggots. Each day has enough trouble of its own, Jesus said. And when I try to secret away my manna, I am only thinking of these troubles. The troubles of tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. If I don’t gather fresh and new—if I don’t gather this daily bread; I will be hungry all day. I find the way to the heart of God—the place that nourishes and fills—and I feast. I know this is how I must be fed—with new bread each day. Sometimes each moment.
Yesterday, when I went running with my youngest son, I was glad.
This feels good, I told him. It seems like we’ve had too much dying lately. It makes me feel so tired…tired and sad.
I was fresh from a funeral—a beautiful celebration. But a reminder of all that is empty in this life.
If there’s been too much dying, he said. Then you need to do too much living.
It made sense when there were endorphins running through my brain, and I laughed beside him as he matched my stride.
The manna is a gift, and I do the careful work of gathering. And when the hard moments come with sharp pains of hunger…I find I have just what I need.