formation friday: bread from heaven

blog formation friday bread from heavenlast week, the day after i realized the refuge was so low on funds, i woke up depressed. in a fog, just weirded out and tired. right now we have several mommies who are either homeless or on the verge of it and it’s just complicated. on saturday morning, i dropped off the twins at their football game early and checked my emails while i was in the parking lot. in working on trying to find a possible temporary housing solution for one woman, i had done an eleventh hour ask of an old friend of jose & i’s who care a lot about widows and orphans. it felt really random because we hadn’t crossed paths for a few years, but i knew i was running out of options and maybe it would open another door.  the email that morning said “we have some room in one of our houses for them, and they can stay here no problem.”  i broke down crying in the car, and it makes me cry now when i write it again.

God hasn’t brought us tons of money in the past 6 years, but what God has given us is provision after provision after provision. small little ways that he is saying, “i won’t let you sink. i’m here. it’s hard but we’ll get through this. i’m taking care of you.”  and God has taken care of us, of me.  every.single.time. not how i necessarily have wanted or envisioned it.  not in the ways i have cried out for. not in the ways i was sure he should have.

it reminds me of the israelites and the 40 years in the wilderness.  i can so relate to them in all their fear & grumbling & longing-for-what-they-thought-was-the-easier-way.  but God provided manna.  it came. every day. bread from heaven. sustenance.  reminders they were not abandoned.

psalm 78:24 says:  “he rained down manna for them to eat, he gave them bread from heaven”.

manna isn’t just white fluffy stuff.  it’s God’s provision in all kinds of wild & beautiful & freaky ways that remind us that we’re loved, we’re being cared for, we’re not alone.  

these reminders are bread from heaven. 

my friend getting a safe place to live for the next month was bread from heaven.  

love and support and kind words over this past week has been bread from heaven.

someone randomly slipping me some cash to give another mommy in need has been bread from heaven.

jose cracking through the seriousness and making me laugh has been bread from heaven.  

they are reminders that God is here. God is near. God is feeding me  manna.  and i’m grateful.

so here are a few questions for formation friday:

  • what would it look like if we re-framed manna far beyond physical provision to “ways that remind us we’re loved, we’re being cared for, we’re not alone?”
  • what are some different kinds of bread from heaven, no matter how big or small, we’re receiving during this season?  

God, help us notice your provision in creative ways, your bread from heaven that strengthens and sustains us.

i’d love to hear what manna’s looking like for you these days.  have a great weekend.  peace, kathy

 

 

 

 

 

Kathy Escobar

Kathy Escobar is dedicated to creating safe and brave spaces for transformation and healing in real life, online, and outside. She co-pastors at The Refuge, a hub for healing community, social action, and creative collaboration in North Denver, co-directs #communityheals, a non-profit organization dedicated to making spaces for transformation accessible for all, and is the author of Practicing: Changing Yourself to Change the World, Faith Shift: Finding Your Way Forward When Everything You Believe is Coming Apart and several other books.

19 Comments

  • Today, it was an unexpected gift. Hmm…well, actually two.
    The first was my dinner. I only have a few dollars left until next payday and that is almost 2 weeks away. I decided that I was going to get dinner at a specific place I like (Chipotle Mexican Grill) and deal with the lack of funds when they were all gone….and when my meal was prepared, packaged and rung up, the manager smiled at me, said “Thank you for being a good customer. This one is on us”. And voila, my dinner was free. Thank you, Papa – bless her back.

    Then I checked my email and there was an email message from my near homeless, itinerant aunt….she bought me a Kindle and in one its way….the newest one, even. And I’m floored. And grateful. And I am slowly learning what love looks like….

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  • You probably don’t need these philosophical musings, but I’m struck by how God did the whole manna thing with the Israelites. Manna could not be stored up or it would rot. We are not allowed to take control of these provisions, to stock pile them for our own purposes. God gives each perfect gift new every morning, exactly the amount we need. Pretty sweet… pretty contrary to how we view success though… intriguing..

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    • i always love philosophical musings so bring them on. i love that truth in here, too, just enough. it is pretty sweet and very contrary to how we view success, isn’t it? thanks for sharing.

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  • Isn’t it great that however things may look we know that God provides for our needs just as Jesus talked about the lillies and the ravens? And when life is getting crazy we can hold to this, when life is good we can enjoy it?

    I would say my “manna” has been in the ability to find joy yes in the enjoyable things in life but also be able to laugh when recalling difficulties in conversations with people. Such that when I talk about such things God can work can bring joy both in myself and in others. I’ve done a few stand up comedy gigs and am hoping to do more. In a comedy workshop, a tutor said to me that comedy is about taking pain and alchemising it into a thing of great beauty. I say amen to that.

    i hope you are making it through your fianicial situation Kathy with your hread held high and with a joy in the Lord at recollection of his “manna” in this and other ways.

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  • Wow wow WOW! What an amazing reminder! Made me think back on so many of the ways Papa has provided for me in the past, presently and what that might look like in the future. This blog post is sooo good, Kathy! What’s also interesting to note is that some of the ‘manna’ I have received didn’t taste all that great at the time (kind of like how I feel about certain veggies) BUT in hindsight, it was so vitally nutritious and life-giving and I didn’t realize it until I sucked it up and ‘ate’ of it!

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    • yes, that is so true, may not taste good but so what we needed. i also am reminded of when they asked for meat and he gave them quail and they gorged and got sick and even died. oh there’s always so much in these stories. thanks for taking time to share.

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  • Finding wall- e and him becoming apart of our family . Gordon getting a job. His dream job ! The money he got at the end of his last job lasting has long has it did . God is good !!!!!!

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  • What a beautiful reminder…that our manna is daily. It is another way to find myself in the story of God. This was a timely and helpful. There is such beauty when we are able to see God’s story and our story colliding…

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  • For me it is three voicemails from a friend afar helping me not commit blog suicide.:)

    It’s the emails I get how my writing voice is helping another

    The most unexpected manna was a patient this week who said to me, “Don’t let anyone bring you down. You shine and the flowers bloom.” From his hospital bed he says this to me! That was unexpected…and timely!

    Thanks for this post, Kathy.So encouraging!

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    • thanks, pam, what a beautiful story–a random patient in a hospital room passing on exactly what you needed to hear. love it. and yes, you shine and the flowers bloom!

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  • Bread for me was a pastor who sat down beside me this week. She pulled me out of my hard, lonely, confused-about-my-call place and told me that she was there… that she believed in me and saw a very distinct call to ministry and it was her joy to be a part of this story. She was a zone of grace in a territory of dissent.

    Thanks for writing this and being a similar such inspiration.

    Reply
  • I find manna on my hikes and long walks outside. When I see nature’s beauty, I know God loves me and cares for me

    Reply

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