Free Translation – It’s so easy to not understand …

My daughter (one of my favorite persons) and I (using my favorite wig)
Slowly back to normal after chemotherapy. I have infusions every three weeks with minimal side effects. I only experience some nausea and cold symptoms during the first couple of days. I lost 7 of my 10 fingernails, but my hair is growing back.


Hair growth about 8 weeks post chemo

My 8 year old daughter is super happy about it. A few days ago she was gently stroking my head and said: “I am very excited Mom, your hair is growing. I thought you were going to leave me.” I looked at my husband with a mix of frustration and compassion. Because after all…after all the conversations, the books and the pictures of bald chemo patients, our little girl still thinks that my health condition depends on whether or not I have hair. But I saw myself reflected in her ingenuousness. It is so easy to not understand. It is so easy to miss what is really important.

“They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand. Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd.” (Mark 6: 42-45, NIV)

“but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.” (Mark 6:49-52, NIV)

This chapter of the Gospel according to Mark presents two miracles: Jesus feeding the five thousand and Jesus walking on the water. Neither the disciples, nor the crowd understood the miracle of the loaves. They thought that Jesus would be a perfect king. They wanted a prosperous kingdom, someone capable of giving them the daily bread. They did not understand that the real miracle was that Jesus was the bread of life, the bread from heaven.

The miracle of walking on water was an extension of the same teaching. Jesus certainly had authority over the elements of nature and power to challenge the laws of physics and fluid mechanics. But the real miracle was His Presence. The “I Am” in the midst of a headwind. They would not have confused the presence of Jesus with a ghost if they have understood that Jesus was the Bread.

But it is so easy to not understand. It is so easy to feel relief based on the wrong reasons. The greatest miracle is not healing, provision, an answered prayer, an easy life, or a problem solved. The miracle is that Jesus is the Bread of life and whoever comes to him will never go hungry (John 6:35). The miracle is His Presence. That a mighty and holy God is present in the darkest night of the soul and when the oceans rise to say “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid”.

May the Lord help us to understand the true miracle. May we long for Jesus more than we do for some baskets full of bread. May the assurance of His presence be enough even if the wind has not died down.

All rights reserved. Rebecca Parrilla, August/2015