“. . . a few small fish.”


“How much bread do you have?” Jesus asked.“Seven loaves,” they answered, “and a few small fish.” (Matthew 15:34)
This past Friday the snow began to fall and I decided to head home.  Having moved this past July to a new parsonage on top of a very steep hill, I was unfamiliar with how passable the hill might be as the snow progressed so I thought it prudent to test my van on the hill fairly early in the snow event.  I made it up the snow-covered hill, but later began to hear the sound of spinning tires as others made less successful attempts to climb the hill.  At one point I went outside to take photos and smelled the burning rubber, another testimony to the frustration from the snow that had fallen and was beginning to turn the hill into a sheet of ice.

When I started taking photos I was very surprised by what I found.  These snowflakes were like none I had ever seen before.  They were like crystalline sticks, totally different from the geometric designs I was accustomed to seeing.  At first the sticks began to pile up until they resembled piles of hay, or maybe the pick-up-sticks from the game of our childhood.  Later their mass simply compressed to look the same as any other snowfall.


However, these same tiny sticks were the cause of so much distress for motorists as the sticks piled deeper and deeper.  Think of it, just a tiny stick of ice could defeat the horsepower of our giant mechanical beasts of burden!

When I saw the power of these tiny sticks I thought of the story of Jesus feeding the four thousand with the bread and a few small fish.  God’s power at work through Jesus gave nourishment to thousands from some bread and a few small fish.  The disciples were overwhelmed by the size of the crowd and the magnitude of their need for nourishment.  How in the world would they every be able to feed them?  Their solution – send the crowd away and let someone else deal with the problem.  All too often when faced with overwhelming challenge or need we’ve been guilty of the same – walk away and let someone or something else deal with the problem (or not).  All too often the need has simply intensified and more hurt has been manifested. 

In his feeding of the four thousand Jesus reminds us that with the power of God, even the smallest act of compassion has the potential to snowball into enormous possibilities for healing and hope.  Every act of compassion counts, and no act of compassion is too small to have an impact on even the most overwhelming of situations.  I pray that God will keep me faithful to looking for ways to offer acts of compassion.  How about you?

Blessings and Peace,
Pastor, Cross Lanes United Methodist Church
Cross Lanes, West Virginia

Help save lives! For more information on my new book, “A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression,” visit

Check out my new video, “Teens Surviving the Storm”

~ by revgenelson on January 30, 2013.

One Response to “Compassion”

  1. Yes. I absolutely agree. We should all be compassionate to the needy people. For that we should show compassion to ourself first and see what we can offer to the world. I am sure your blog is helping lot of people out there. Keep the good work and Congrats on your book. Please visit my page for teenager depression at

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