Loaves and Fish or cut bait

Melissa Ann Howell Schier
7 min readSep 16, 2023

The day could not be any prettier…the sun was shining and the whole family, actually groups of families were on the little train taking a tour of beautiful St. Augustine Florida. The conductor/driver was funny and the pink and blue and yellow homes were clustered among white seashell walls and gigantic oak trees, draped with Spanish moss.

Crisp cold watermelon, packed to eat, thanks to Heather and Jonathan was a delicious snack and there was so much history to take in…interesting things to learn such as the fact that the monument to the constitution in this city had never been removed. And we learned about the endurance of this city, which had been traded and sold and burned but had still survived. It has an interesting bunker and wall and some incredible pieces of architecture, and all kinds of shopping and places to eat.

Once off the train, we waited while the moms slathered sunscreen on the babies, seating them in a large wagon, and then wandered around, stopping at a pirates store for a compass and a pirate flag. We also peeked into a courtyard that had a gigantic oak tree shading widely spaced picnic tables with a stage for music, and a live concert promising to start in only a few minutes.

Just around the corner, a fish and chips dinner place supplied the food we were craving. We were able to get seated, and start eating delicious food (I had fried shrimp and potato salad and sweet ice tea) while watching the music, along with many other friendly people.

As we finished up and went for a stroll down the narrow rickety bricked streets, we saw people with signs asking for help. I almost never have any cash, but this time I happened to have some on hand so I gave some cash to the man I saw.

The rest of our group was looking at signs, trying to decide where to go next, but Shiloh, seeing me give the man some money, went for her purse as well. The kids had brought money they had earned, to buy something, but instead of buying something, Shiloh wanted to share with the man. She ran over and gave him some money and he gave her a palm leaf flower. I know that moment made her feel good because she looked at me and smiled.

When we got back to the stunning resort we were visiting, it was time for Heather to open her birthday gift and my son had given her the study guide to go with the series “the Chosen” something everyone in our family is watching and loving. Heather was truly touched and she liked the card and the cardboard 3 D Dahlias I gave her as well. Heather and Ellie, their baby girl, LOVE flowers. And for some reason, the events of the day, and the idea of “The Chosen”, and gardens, made me think of the garden of Eden.

I thought about how Jesus told us that the kingdom of heaven is “at hand”. I decided to create my own “kingdom of heaven” using photo editing tools, as though it were here now as the garden of Eden, figuratively, so I started making a garden, full of heavenly things from that day.

It was easy to do since I had some wonderful photos to use. As I added “stickers” to the piece of art I was creating, and worked to fill up the “garden”, I realized that “everyone IS chosen”. As the creator of the garden I did not want to leave anyone out. The more people I put in there, the more people I wanted to put in there.

I realized that heaven is the ability to see good in everything and to include everyone. Jesus did that, in his sermon on the mount, when he fed the masses…something seemingly impossible and hopeless.

The man asking for money, is just as heavenly as the person helping him. It is our view of him that elevates his experience or existence. Jesus, washing the feet of everyone else, impressed upon them his view of mankind, as a people he loved and wanted to be of service to. That was the example he gave.

Jesus did not avoid the sick, or those full of demons. Where others perhaps saw limitations or disease, Jesus saw no limitations, and no lack. Being able to see the good and recognize the bounty of “the garden” is how I think Jesus was able to constantly and consistently have that coincidence with God, and how the lack of bread and fish was transformed into enough to feed the masses. Being grateful for supply, by NOT seeing lack, is in fact transformative.

Jesus saw disease and lack as opportunities for healing. These healings Jesus told us, could be accomplished by anyone who recognized God in every person, and heard Gods direction in every choice of behavior. For that reason I choose to listen and apply a bible verse to my life every day.

One of the little children with us today is named Isaiah. So I picked my randomly chosen bible verse from Isaiah chapter six verse nine.
He said, “Go and tell this people:

“‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding;
be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’

In this bible verse, fortuitously, I think we are being counseled to realize that, what we SEE with our eyes and hear with our ears, is NOT telling us the truth, spiritually, but is telling us instead, about destruction, disease or death.

Jesus did not believe the limitation or disease that he saw with his eyes and did not believe the things he heard with his ears. He relied on what spirituality was telling him and those thoughts spiritual were loving, accepting, expansive and non limiting, and only good. Because of that conviction, Jesus healed.

If Jesus commands us to feed his sheep, then it is time we either “fish or cut bait”…the words that are on my pirates flag…in other words, we need to take action.

In a world where there are so many different wars going on, against drugs, against disease, against a faltering economy, the REAL war we need to fight, is in our thinking, about believing good is subject to destruction and accepting sickness and disease as inevitable. Evil cannot
“pirate” good away from us. Jesus only believed in Good.

I think that the world, and its images of destruction and death, need to be challenged by a correct view of Gods not so secret garden.

Wake up the mighty men, let the weak say they are strong.

Jesus says, in the sermon on the mount, that the table is set for anyone who wants to come to the “feast”. “If a man has ears, let him hear”. I think that the garden of Eden is at hand, and we are all in the garden right now. But not all of us can “see” it. The more we can “see” it and be grateful for it, the more we can be like Jesus.

And if everyone is commanded to feed the sheep, we are feeding by our example. The example of caring about others and not seeing limitations, applies to everyone and to every circumstance.

How many of us are still afraid of a child who is sick, instead of understanding that there is no power in disease but only power in good. The healing is in the belief that we hold in our thinking. To heal, we must reject the belief, not the person. Isn’t that what Jesus did?

A few weeks ago I picked a bible verse that says, and I am paraphrasing, to despise not these little ones for the angels in heaven see everything that happens to them. When we isolate those who are sick, are we feeding God’s sheep? I think not.

Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real. It is not just our own children whom we care for, but for other people’s children, as well. We must care for all those children, even those who might not be born because of fear held by their mothers or fathers.

The family unit, is where the angels and angel thoughts reside, guiding and giving direction, and showing us how to heal. If mankind is actually spiritual, then it makes sense that our thinking, either good or bad, is what we manifest. Time for our thinking to “take wing”.

But that is a radical way to think, and yet, radical thinking is how Jesus performed miracles that he says we, as his chosen, all can do…Radical reliance on the truth of Good as the only existence. If good is like Light, can darkness overtake the light in a room or does light obliterate darkness. Dark does not have any power when we understand light. Darkness is not a power, it is only the absence of light.

The war in our thinking is already won, because we see good. And Good is the only power.

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Melissa Ann Howell Schier

HoustonWorkout on YouTube, mom of five, journalist and artist and conservative who values life.