Tuesday, February 28, 2012

crusty old St. Peter...

Today I was remembering a bit of a book that I read this fall...

I’m going to tell you something now I’ve never mentioned to anyone, says Saint Peter in Millions, a book by Frank Cottrell Boyce. The crusty old disciple goes on to give his eyewitness account of the ‘Feeding of the Five Thousand’. Saint Peter... the patron saint of keys and locks and security... also fishermen, popes, and Rome... He's run off his feet, actually... and he's supposed to mind the gate too. He recounts the story of the feeding of the 5,000...

 ‘A little kid came up to him - about your size. His name was - I've forgotten. I still see him sometimes. Anyway, he came up with these loaves and sardines and Jesus blessed them and passed them round. He wasn't trying to do a miracle, he was just one of those people who thought everything would be all right, you know. Anyway, so he passed these sardines, and the first person he passed them to passed them on. Know why? Because he had honey cake and a piece of lamb hidden in his purse. So he passed the fish on and sneaked the honey cake out and made out he'd just taken it off the plate. And the next person, he had a pocket full of dates, so he did the same - sneaked one out, passed the plate on. And so it went on. The truth was, every single one of them had food with them, but they were all keeping it to themselves. Hidden away. Every one of them looking after Number One. And they would have starved where they stood rather than let anyone see. But as the plate came round with the loaves and the fish on, they all got their own food out and started to eat and, as they ate, they started to share and then it began, the biggest picnic in history. And the plate went all the way round back to Jesus and this kid - I'll think of his name in a minute - and it still had the fish and loaves on. And Jesus was a bit taken aback, but then he looked up (he'd been talking all the time) he could see that everyone was eating. So he said, "What happened?" and I just said, "A miracle."  ... it was a kind of miracle. The best kind. Because all those people had all they needed. Except something - I don't know what you'd call it - courage, maybe, or grace. And then this little kid. He stood up and suddenly everyone there got bigger. They were all filled with it and they were there for hours, talking and laughing and drunk on this stuff - this grace or whatever. A little kid stood up and was ready to be generous and that's all it took. One little kid. He wasn't planning to save the world. He was planning lunch. He just did the right thing at the right time. One little kid and a plate of fish, and 5,000 people sorted.’ 

In the book, Millions, a bag stuffed with £229,000 in cash falls 'from the sky' into young Damian's hands. A gift from God, he believes.

"We thought the money was going to take care of everything but we ended up taking care of the money. We were always worried about it, tucking it in at night, checking up on it. It was like a big baby."

It's a great book. You should consider reading it... as you can see, it stays with you.

What do you think could change the world more: one generous little kid or £229,000 in cash?

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