The Mundane Begets the Miraculous
by Katherine Dlugolonski
Come along with me on a journey. I know that we’ve just met, and that you don’t yet know me. But I hope that in the end, it will be worth it for you.
Even at this hour, it is hot and dusty. She pushes her thick curls off her forehead, which is already sweating. She woke up an hour before, to mill the flour and join it with the oil. She kneaded the dough and let it rest as she dressed for the day ahead. It wasalready long and filled with tasks. She took the bread and gave it its final punch. She smiled as she formed the round and set it on the side of the oven. It would bake well.
She walked through the small house and sat for a moment. She began to mend her son’s garment. It was torn yesterday on a table in the marketplace and he had to wear it again today. It was not yet light out, and he would soon be waking. He would dress and they would all sit for their meal. Her husband would pray and teach the morning story; one of faith and character to train up their son in the way he should go.
She began to slice the goat cheese that she had traded some of her spun wool for yesterday. She laid the grapes on a plate. A glance out of the window showed the sun just beginning to share its smile for the day.
She allowed herself a bare moment to pause. What does it all mean? The baking every day. The mending every day. The end game is clear, but the every day…it’s just arduous. Bored. Tired. Melancholy. Overwhelmed. She wipes the sweat from her forehead again and sets out the carpet as she hears the stirrings of her husband and son.
Her son doesn’t finish his meal. Too excited to hear the triumph at Jericho, he doesn’t touch his bread. After breakfast, she cleans. She sweeps up the crumbs as her husband instructs her son in the ways of carpentry. They are building a shelf for a neighbor. An easy project that can be completed in a few hours. She will need to send him out today. They need more wheat. She pulls out the last of her wool. She hasn’t carded the rest and will need to do so later. She pulls out her small market basket. She places the spun wool for trading along with her son’s unfinished loaves and three extra.
Her brother works as a fisherman and her son will visit the shore to say hello and pick up some fish for his meal. He is a kind boy and shares much. She likes to think that she taught him that. Perhaps that is all that her legacy will be. A wonderful boy that emerges from the mundane tasks of her everyday life. That is enough, but she has always wanted to be a bigger blessing.
Now watch the boy. He visits the market, the shore. On his way home, he sees a crowd forming. He hears a voice. A carpenter, they say. A Galilean. A Galilean carpenter? he thinks… just like me. He drifts over to hear the man’s words. So wise, so much compassion. Truly this man understands the Kingdom of God. A mighty Rabbi! The disciples are agitated. He hears one of them, one whom he has seen before at the shore with his uncle, telling the Rabbi, “Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” The carpenter tells the fisherman to feed the people. The boy looks around…there are so many. The men around the Rabbi argue. Then they begin asking for food. I have so little, should I even speak up?
He offers his basket. It is all they have. Five loaves and two fish. His boy supper for the long walk home.
And it changes the world.
A miracle occurs. The mundane brings about the miraculous. Are you tired, my friend? Are you the mother, packing your hundredth lunch, writing your millionth lesson, cleaning, mending, teaching, and wondering what it all means? What tedious task will you do today that will change the world? What nugget of wisdom will you impart that will allow souls to be saved? Maybe even the soul of that precious little one, staring up at you and wanting so much to learn from you. I so look forward to hugging the mother of that boy and saying thanks when I meet her in heaven. Thank you for sending your son to the market that day with your beautifully baked loaves.Thank you for getting up before dawn to mill the flour and knead the dough. Thank you for providing the Savior a means to use one that wasn’t even counted, a child, your boy. And thank you…for showing me, that even the everyday things that I do, can provide a gateway in this world for His miracles.
Katherine Dlugolonski is a lover of Jesus, wife for 12 years, dog lover, and homeschooling mother of four crazy boys who keep her young. Just having moved to Idaho a year ago, she’s still missing the gorgeous high rises and busy streets of her whole-life home, New York. She’s quite enjoying the mountains here, though. She graduated from Boston University and loves writing, acting, running, and reading, and can be found (those ten minutes a day when she’s not chasing after aforementioned four boys, two dogs, or husband) with a steaming cup of tea and, hopefully, a smile.