When I was young and just out of graduate school, I had ambitions to sing and to write. Neither proved to be very lucrative and as I struggled away, I took a room in a dilapidated house, sharing a bathroom with two other women and a “kitchen”—our stove was a hot plate—for $140 a month.
My landlord was an exceptionally odd character who looked a bit like Ichabod Crane, only taller and a bit scarier, but my room had delicious wood floors and a nice view. In addition to being inexpensive, it was located in what they called “the hip zip” of Nashville, not far from Music Row and the like. I tucked right in.
Still, even at such a bargain, there were months I found it difficult to pay the rent. One month in particular grew quite grim. With freelance writing, you are sometimes paid “on publication,” and if the publication of a piece is delayed for editorial reasons, it could mean months of waiting for a paycheck.
I was also making a very determined effort to tithe properly, my first serious attempt as an adult. So, I tithed and trusted, sweated and prayed, in the southern heat of the Hip Zip.
Then, just before the first of the month, I received an unexpected letter. I had over-payed my car insurance and was being issued a refund. The amount? $147.
I always think of this story when I read about the fishes and loaves miracle. True, Jesus did not serve lobster tail with warm rhubarb compote for dessert, but I’m guessing that fish and bread was more than enough after such a remarkable day, sitting among the crowds, listening to the Great Teacher.
Let’s not forget—Jesus is a miracle man—though our loaves and fishes may look different. And though I may never be materially wealthy, the graces garnered from my work, especially as a writer and retreat/spiritual director, are more satisfying than anything money could buy.
Grace can never be purchased, sisters. But it is promised and so often given in unanticipated abundance by a generous Father.
Pray this prayer for extra grace after receiving the Blessed Sacrament, or simply throughout the day after a spiritual communion.
Liz Kelly is a jazz singer who fell in love with Jesus. She writes, teaches, offers spiritual direction and retreats with a special interest in helping women to flourish in their faith. She’s written six books, including the award-winning "Jesus Approaches" and the "Jesus Approaches Study Supplement." And she still sings jazz, but mainly in the tub and while washing dishes. Find out more about her here.