Help us to not ask for tomorrow’s bread, or next year’s bread, or a promissory note for a lifetime’s worth of bread. For bread security.
Just, let us awake each morning, finding that your care has not slacked. Finding ourselves unforgotten.
Food for the stomach and words for the soul. In this time of rupture and grief, how very many biscuits and loaves and baguettes of sustaining words have been given to us. How many arms linked together and hands reaching to catch us when the floor gave way.
Invitations to churches, to dinners, to communities. It is overwhelming in the best sort of way. It is like setting out on a journey, armed with a bit of bread and a bit of cheese, and being called in to a neighbor’s backyard barbecue feast. And then another neighbor’s. And then another’s.
Daily bread and surprising bread. We are being sustained and cared for. I gave birth to one of our sons in Chile, far from the supportive care of family. I remember how vulnerable I felt. And then the midwife drew near. She kissed my cheeks when the pain came hard. “Esta bien, mamita, esta bien”, she’d murmur. I melted into that comfort. I didn’t feel vulnerable; I felt mothered.
I feel the same now. It doesn’t take away the pain, but frames it within bounds; it tells the pain that it is not the end of the story, nor the narrative of my life. It is a passing thing, scream though it may. It will be endured alongside the love and care of others; it will be borne in empathy. It will accomplish its work within me and through me, and good will come of it, because God is not in the habit of wasting anything.
And again that verse from Isaiah….
Though the Lord may give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself any more, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”