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Friday, November 28, 2008

Bread of Heaven

JEAN SAID:

Lord, Wednesday night I stood at my kitchen island kneading dough. It's one of our family traditions that I make yeast rolls for every holiday. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, birthdays wouldn't be complete without them.

I enjoy making bread. That nutty-sweet perfume of the yeast growing makes my mouth water. It has come to be a signal to my family that the holidays are officially here. For me it's the aroma of love for my family. When the rolls are in the oven it is irresistible. I never have to call them to the table once the rolls begin to brown.

I love the feel of the dough in my hands, too, Lord. It's soft and pliable and slightly warm. Actually it's just above body temperature. As that yeast grows it makes the dough expand and the temperature rise. It almost feels alive in my hands.

Years ago when I first tackled making my own bread, I read in a recipe book that the dough should feel like a baby's bottom. And that book was right, Lord. Each time I roll and press the dough under the heels of my hands I remember our own babies. They are grown now, but I can still remember powdering their chubby little bottoms at diaper time. And patting those little bottoms as I rocked and sang lullabys.

This prayer started out to be a simple "thank You, God, for bread to eat." But it's bringing to mind so many other things to be thankful for: family, traditions, our senses, babies, & grand babies.

Working the dough in my hands, inhaling that delicious aroma, pulling the golden brown rolls from the oven are all wonderful, sensual experiences for us. No wonder You called Yourself "The Bread of Heaven," Lord. Bread represents life to us, doesn't it? And You are our life. You are our sustenance. You satisfy not only our soul-hunger, but our soul-desires. You are as fragrant as that yeast growing, as delicious as that nutty-sweet taste, and as satisfying as warm bread drenched in creamy smooth butter.

GOD SAID:

Let everyone who is soul-hungry come to Me and be filled. Let everyone whose soul thirsts for love, for peace, come to Me and he or she will never be dried up and soul-thirsty again. Yes, Little One, I AM the Bread of Heaven.