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  • Writer's pictureDr. Meg Hart

The Bag of Breadcrumbs Parable

My great grandfather lived to be 101 years-old. For the last season of his life, he moved back from Florida to NJ to live with my Mommom for a few years. I loved spending time with him. He loved to work outside, take long walks and garden. One vision I often beheld as I visited great-grandpop was him sitting in his chair with a plastic bag of bread breaking it up into crumbs. Every day he would go out and feed the birds. He always made sure he had his bag of breadcrumbs ready to use, and the birds were always fed.

Over time, as his body grew older and weaker, he could no longer do yardwork, take long walks or garden. His vision grew dim and his body frail. However, one thing he always managed to do was feed the birds. He would always make sure he had a bag of crumbs to provide and share. There were times he would often feel down because he could no longer do the things he used to do, and sometimes felt like he was no longer leading a productive life. However, he still cared for God’s creation and still did what he could with what he could. He used his hands to feed and care for those birds until the day he left this earth. Most importantly, his family saw the care he placed with those frail and tired hands and the legacy of kindness and care he left would follow generation after generation.

Today, when I visit my 90 year-old mommom, I see her breaking up a bag of breadcrumbs. She makes sure the birds in her yard do not go hungry. As she always tells me, “Daddy always made sure they were fed, and I have to make sure too.” My mom has a bird feeder and always makes sure it is filled for her birds. Guess what is in my pantry at this very moment? Yes, I too have a bag of breadcrumbs. In my new home, I go out into my yard and feed the birds. My daughter helps me and as we now sit in my grandpop’s chair in our home, I tell her the same story I am telling you. The legacy lives on, and she will one day carry out the same tradition to her children.

What legacy are you following? What legacy are you leaving? For me, it was a bag of breadcrumbs. Even in the times when I am tired or weak, I try to always make sure to feed those in need. I may not have much, but if I give what I can to those who hunger for encouragement, hope, kindness, and inspiration, then I am determined to give what I can. I have had many people feed me the same in my time of need. Most importantly, our loving, kind, gracious and merciful Father God always gives us the provision, nourishment and strength we need to press on. His hands never grow weary. His sight never grows dim and His strength never fails. We can lean on Him to help love one another and help those in need in every season of our lives.

I am forever grateful for the bag of breadcrumbs that started with my great-grandpop and lives on today. He probably never realized what lessons he taught his children and generations to follow through this example, but many birds were and are still being fed, and it all began with the determination to lovingly and willingly give despite limitations.

Reflect What breadcrumbs are you saving, storing up and sharing with others? Has someone faithfully fed you? Who are you called to feed? What lessons can you learn from this? Write down any thoughts.

Meditate Read the following scriptures: Matthew 6: 25-27 Galatians 9-10 John 21: 15-17 Luke 6:38

Act Give all you can to serve others in the seasons where you have plenty and in the dry seasons as well. Nothing you ever do to serve and give is in vain. God will always provide for you everything you need to live an abundant life so that you can continue to feed others for Him. Make, store and share your breadcrumbs today. There are plenty of hungry people who are just waiting for someone to share with them, and that someone is you!

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