As I walked back from dropping off the waste, my mind went to Rev. Father Emma’s words: God is interested in the leftovers, the unwanted, the rejected, those not good enough. He has so much interest in them that it those He loves, those close to Him, His disciples that He called to pick them up.
Back on the day he preached that sermon on the “parable of the leftovers”, it was not quite clear to me. How God will allow leftovers for His glory to be made manifest, for that is what Fr. Emma said. He does not want them to waste, He wants them taken care of.
I have had a restless night having been up most part of the night reading. I am to have a meeting with the orthopedic surgeon later today and I must not appear to sound hollow (at least not to myself) in our discussion on my daughter’s matter. As early as 5.30 I was up, making an attempt at prayer. In a short while I was through. It always saddens me that I cannot spend long time in prayer when my mind is agitated. I decided to send some mails and then take a bath, generally getting ready for the day. As I entered the bedroom to change to go to the bathroom, I saw Ziim was up, time check, 7.15 am. That is good, I play a bit with her, more like stretching her. Wanted to take her to the bathroom, then decided against it, I’ll go first. Putting her in a prone position, I stretched her out, and went to have by bath.
Coming out about 15 minutes later,I met her fast asleep. Let her be. Breakfast is by 8 am. I will bring her food to the room. I dressed up, but before going for breakfast, I decided to take out the trash. I met two of the children by the elevator, they were waiting for their aid to take them down to the dinning hall. I said hello to them and went down. Could not fail to notice how fresh they all looked, crisp, I could smell the scent of freshly washed and ironed clothes. Those whose duty it is to clean were busy cleaning the floor that looks anything but dirty, I saw another man dropping used clothes in a basket. Yet another was taking freshly washed sheets to the rooms.
As I dropped off the trash in the bin, I noted the cleanliness of the environment.
Who are the inmates in this rehabilitation center that houses 70 individuals with different degrees of disability as a result of Cerebral Palsy? When I asked, I was told that most of them are orphans whose relatives
could not care for refused to care for, a few have parents but the do not care for them well enough rejected them, so the government takes over their maintenance. I guess they could pass Fr. Emma’s definition of leftovers, the unwanted, the rejected.
It was a Tuesday afternoon a couple of months back, about lunch time, Fr. Emma came to visit us at the CpCenter. I do not know why he decided to preach to me. He probably sensed my low spirit that day. He picked his sermon from St. John’s gospel, chapter 6, verses 1-15. there is hardly any “believing Christian” I know who does not like this gospel passage and often uses it as a contact prayer point……”Lord multiply my fish and bread!! I have heard this bible passage explained in different ways one of which is “multiplication of generosity”….I loved that version and thought it classic until that day. But like I said earlier, I did not quite get it until this morning.
I am one of those Christians who are not versed at quoting the bible or trying to explain it. I leave it to the priests to read and explain to me. I know dear blog you may be scandalized but that is a fact.
So when Fr. Emma asked me; After the five thousand men were fed with two fish and five loaves of bread by our Lord Jesus, what did he instruct his disciples to do? I was trying to remember, but he did not wait for my answer; He instructed his disciples, the people He loves to “gather the leftovers, let nothing be wasted”. Jesus is interested in the leftovers, the ones nobody desires. Does anyone like to eat leftovers? I shook my head. You see, that is it, nobody likes leftovers, they are the unwanted the rejects. Remember that in the story the people ate on the grass and the leftovers fell thereon, making them more dirty and unwanted, yet Jesus was interested in them, He made the people He loves to pick them all up. And how many baskets did they get? TWELVE baskets full !!! (I knew that) Were we told that anyone ate them? No Father, I replied. So why do you think He did that? I looked at him blankly. Again he did not wait for my answer. He did that so that God may be glorified he said, to bring out God’s glory.
He continued; You may look at these children you work with as the unwanted, the rejected, “the leftovers”. Which parent in h/her right mind would ask for a child with disability much less CP? Yet God allows them to be born, somehow either by human error or by some inexplicable reasons, even in our society that lacks services even for the “wanted”. Sometimes some of us are called to pick up those leftovers.
As reflect on this sermon by Fr. Emma this morning, the question that came to my mind is; what do we do with our leftovers.
This will be the subject of another post……..