She Who Bakes Bread
September 7, 2018Her first call was to ask me to pray for a young man who had been her student many years ago. He was 31 now and just diagnosed with acute leukemia. I added him to my prayer list; she who bakes bread fed her bread starter in meditation and prayer, waiting for more news. The next day, she who bakes bread called to tell me Chris had died. One day after diagnosis, he was gone. Lost to the world too soon, his potential, hopes, and dreams shut down as quickly as his organs failed. The bread was rising all the time. As she who bakes bread and I talked, we talked about all the young people who die too soon and all the old people who seem to keep living in smaller and smaller worlds. She said goodbye quickly to turn and knead the dough and grease the pans and turn the oven on. Kneading bread – pressing air out, punching it down and patting down the action, covering and waiting for the rising to happen. She who bakes bread was living the way of life, and baking her way to comfort and offer hope in the face of death. She said she would take lots of bread over for Chris’s family, just as she had taken bread to Avis’s family and many other families who in facing death, need a taste of the bread of life. I am not a bread baker. I do not understand bread starters or the action of the yeast, or how to knead till the dough is just right. But I see in the work of she who bakes bread the metaphor of Christ’s work in the world. This world knocks us down, squeezes the life out of us sometimes, even unto death. And we wait for the rising to happen. Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Those who come to me shall never hunger; those who believe in me shall never thirst.” A big slice of warm homemade bread with butter melting on it is the blessing of the holy in our midst. She who bakes bread gives witness to the Christ who comforts the brokenhearted. Many thank her; I give thanks for her, she who bakes bread, for she is my sister.