I came across the following quote by Mahatma Gandhi which has had me thinking: “There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.” The Divine is always trying to feed us but we sometimes limit what we will take in. Sometimes we pray and beg for spiritual visions and understanding but mistakenly assume they will only come during meditations, silence and fasting! While these things can be helpful the fact is the Divine is speaking to us all during our ordinary day… but under Its own terms and not ours!
This reminds me of the man trapped on the roof of his house by floodwaters. He yells out to God, “Help me!” A man in a rowboat offers to save him but he says, “God will save me.” A helicopter overhead lowers a rescue basket but the man on the roof refuses to get in it saying again, “God will save me!” The floodwaters rise even higher and clinging to the chimney he shouts, “God, why didn’t you save me?!” A voice from the heavens booms, “I sent you a rowboat and a helicopter… what more can I do?!” The Divine feeds us not what we want but what we need and often that nourishment comes within the context of unwanted relationships with others! In our narcissistic view of things we presume that we know what’s best for us! We insist that God give us bread, not relationships!
I watched a movie recently entitled “Family Flaw”. One of the brothers, Franco, has cirrhosis of the liver and has given up hoping for happiness or connecting to life. While being driven somewhere by his brother Nico, Franco says “But this isn’t the way to Brindisi! Where are you taking me?” Nico reveals he is taking Franco to Switzerland for a liver transplant and is going to give Franco part of his own liver! Franco objects stating, “But you could die!” Nico replies, “I’ll take a chance on dying if you’ll take a chance on living.” Taking a chance on living means to stop dictating to the Divine what we will and won’t accept, to stop demanding, and to start engaging with what the Divine sends our way each day. Love means being willing to take a chance… even when those relationships begin to look a lot like stale bread!