I remember learning long division in elementary school math.
It started out simply, with nice round numbers that could easily be divided.
I still remember when I discovered decimals.
My teacher explained that anything could be divided by two, not just even numbers.
Decimals helped us break the odd numbers in half.
And even then, decimals could be divided,
and divided again.
I learned that anything could be divided by two.
No matter how small it already was.
It could always be split.
Forever and ever.
Divided, broken, somehow made more.
If all things denote there is a God, He must have a place in math.
Maybe He’s in long division.
The nice round numbers.
I think He is in the decimals too.
The broken numbers.
And how somehow, broken makes more.
At night we sing about Baby Sharks, twinkling stars, and Jesus.
Last night it was “Tell Me the Stories of Jesus”.
I really do love to hear them.
The healing, the helping, the watching, the loving, the forgiving.
“Tell them to me”.
I wish I could have been there for them.
For those moments when broken was more.
The scriptures say it was getting late.
The disciples requested the Savior send the people away into the city to get food to eat.
Jesus’ compassion would not allow anyone to be sent away.
Give ye them to eat. (Mark 6:37)
The disciples were used to impossible.
Feeding 5,000 men and their wives and children?
They offered to go to the city to buy bread for all.
Though they had no money between them.
Jesus asked them to collect what food they had.
A lad in the multitude had 5 loaves and 2 little fishes.
I think sometimes we imagine Jesus making more loaves and more fish appear.
But what if it wasn’t more loaves and fishes.
What if it was what they had, just broken.
And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all.
And they did all eat, and were filled. (Mark 6:37)
Little, broken things fed a multitude.
Jesus fed a multitude.
Somehow, broken makes more.
It’s something Jesus is good at.
I have had broken times.
Times when my spirit ached.
When confusion reigned and heaviness and fatigue were constant companions.
But like little fish and odd numbers, Jesus found a way to make more of me.
In the broken.
More like Him.
Broken makes more.
And that makes me happy.
Jesus is a people watcher
If His mortality were today, He’d probably spend time on park benches or at airport terminals.
Back then He watched the treasury.
And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.
And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.
Jesus watched her.
And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:
Jesus noticed her.
For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living. (Mark 12:41-44)
Jesus loved her.
And now we remember her.
All that she had.
Hank gave me two rocks,
and a necklace made of fruit loops and white yarn.
I smiled so big it made my cheeks hurt.
It was all that He had.
The two rocks sit in my nightstand drawer.
A picture of the two dandelions in a small jar of water hangs in my office.
I wore the fruit loop necklace all day.
With each compliment I proudly shared,
“Hank made this for me”.
These things are beautiful.
And I’ll always remember them.
Because Hank gives all that he has.
And his goodness is tangible.
In the rocks.
The fruit loops.
All that he had.
Sometimes at the end of the day, I am tired.
I find comfort in the people-watcher, Jesus.
The dishes and the texts.
The “I love you’s” and the prayers.
The study, the teaching, the trying.
All of it.
All that she had.
I wish I knew her name.
But in the same breath,
I am glad she was willing to go without.
Because then she is me.
She is you.
And He watches.
Sometimes I am tired in the giving.
Sometimes it feels like no one is watching, and my offerings are meager.
But there’s One who sees.
One who remembers.
I wonder if she saw Him as He watched.
If she knew.
Did she look around?
Did she have to convince her fingers?
She gave all that she had.
I wonder if Jesus has a nightstand.
I bet two mites sit in His nightstand drawer.
That would make me happy.
Everything in our St George house was tiny except the refrigerator.
It was obviously a more recent addition to the house.
I filled the dishwasher with the door barely cracked open because it would catch on the protruding fridge.
It was a great spot to leave notes though.
I had a piece of paper ripped from a favorite notebook posted to the fridge with a magnet.
“Things I love about Jake,”
and I added to it often.
For him, but mostly for me.
To keep track.
And to see.
And to remember.
And the list got long.
A few weeks ago Jake went on a motorcycle trip with his dad.
We barely crossed paths before he left.
I headed to work early in the morning and he left before I came home.
He tried to stop by on his way out of town, but I was teaching a class.
Our timing was just off.
It didn’t match up all day.
I headed home missing him.
When I got home I hugged Hank and walked to my room.
With my heels in one hand and Hank’s hand in the other, I opened the door.
And I laughed out loud.
Jake had opened every drawer.
Jake has a routine. I can tell because of the trail he leaves.
He leaves the shower door open,
followed by the top drawer in his side of the closet where he grabs his clothes.
Next I find at least the first, and usually the third, vanity drawers ajar where he gets out his toothbrush, toothpaste, and Suavecito.
Finally, his bedside table drawer is open to track down his keys or wallet or a phone charger.
When I come home from school I follow his trail,
visualize his steps,
because the evidence is there.
I shut the drawers so he can leave them open tomorrow.
It’s one of my favorite parts of the day.
One thing I love about him.
And a few weeks ago, I told him so.
So when I opened our door, I found that he had left lots of him to love.
Every bathroom drawer, closet drawer, desk drawer, and bedside table drawer stood wide open.
Not just his.
Every drawer was open.
I took pictures before closing each one.
And I missed him.
He makes me happy.
My name is Maddie Townsend Topham and I am a happy wife!