Give Us This Day

This blog is named for that which sustains in the wilderness. There are many readings themed around heaven-sent food. Here are a few great ones:

In 2 Kings 4:42-44, “twenty barley loaves made from the first fruits, and fresh grain in the ear” was given, at Elisha’s insistence, to a crowd of a hundred. “For thus says the Lord, ‘They shall eat and there shall be some left over.’ And when they had eaten, there was some left over, as the Lord had said.”

Then there is the famous “Loaves and Fishes” passage from Jn 6:1-15 in which Jesus provides food (with leftovers) for a massive crowd from five barley loaves and two fish.

Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15 features God’s response to the hunger of the Israelites. The lines read like poetry:

“In the evening quail came up and covered the camp.
In the morning a dew lay all about the camp, and when the dew evaporated,
there on the surface of the desert were fine flakes like hoarfrost on the ground.
On seeing it, the Israelites asked one another, ‘What is this?’ for they did not know what it was.
But Moses told them, ‘This is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat.’”

To quote today’s featured poem, “Moses,”: “I need/ my jealous God; the manna, desert bread—/ the burning bush; / the basket that held me/ when I, an infant, floated helplessly.”

Here are the rules of heaven-sent sustenance as gleaned from the aforementioned readings and others on this topic:

In times of scarcity or want, God provides.

Don’t work for food that perishes, but for permanent food.

There will be leftovers.

The food will be better than our wildest dreams.

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BEST Andrea Bocelli Song EVER! - (HQ Sound) - The Lord's Prayer (better than time to say goodbye)

Tintoretto - The Miracle of Manna
Tintoretto – The Miracle of Manna


An angel of the Lord appeared to him in fire flaming out of a bush. As he looked on, he was surprised to see that the bush, though on fire, was not consumed…the Lord said, ‘Come, now! I will send you to Pharaoh to lead my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.’” (Ex 3:2, 10)

I was adopted from the river bank.
There’s something to the way reeds sway in wind,
the way they lean down low—that makes me thank
the One who gave me life. Yet I rescind
the urge to make my home the water’s edge—
though often in this desert all I see
are lotuses where sand should be, and sedge
instead of the occasional palm tree.
I tire of this desolation, miss
the structured boats, scaled pyramids, ripe trees.
But all I hear are crying babies, hiss
of camels. All around me: fear, unease.
How can I ever guide my people home,
when my spirit is trapped beneath the foam—

When my spirit is trapped beneath the foam,
beneath the Nile’s cool and trickling waves?
I long for fertile banks, the rich, dark loam.
Out in this wasteland, all I see are graves.
The river is my lineage. And yet
there’s something else that keeps me walking on.
I go because I’m paying off a debt
that never can be paid in full. Each dawn,
and every sunset, I become a reed
bowing in weariness. Why am I led
to thank this Wild Mystery? I need
my jealous God; the manna, desert bread—
the burning bush; the basket that held me
when I, an infant, floated helplessly.