Sunday, January 23, 2011

On the Baking of Bread I’ve been baking a lot of bread lately. It’s not like I have a lot of skills or enjoy kneading it – I actually just use my bread maker. It’s not like we need the bread or prefer it over commercial bread. We usually buy a heavy wheat bread as our normal, daily bread and I usually make white Italian bread when I bake it. So I bake the bread, but it’s not for any of the things you would think. I enjoy the smell of it rising and baking and the way it warms the kitchen on these bitterly cold January days. I haven’t even eaten much of the bread that I’ve made. It’s as if the bread represents something to me that I feel like I need to have right now. When I think of what I will be making for dinner, I think “this would be better with fresh bread.” When I think of it baking and the smell, I think of how comforting it is. I make the bread because it has a different meaning to me. This makes me think about how we all process and work through what we experience in life. We carry around this view of how things should be…our collective experience that is the baggage or view we bring to a situation. Through this cloud of “stuff” we interpret our world. We likely apply a different meaning to a situation then what is expected. This cloud contains the good and the bad of what we have been through. The more bad things we hang onto – unforgiveness, really – the likely we are to interpret situations in a negative way. This is dangerous ground. Jesus does not want us to come to him unless we resolve unforgiveness and conflict in our lives. (Matthew 5:23-25 23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.) I am not here to preach to any of you about this – I am writing about this because I realize I have a problem with this myself and have to deal with it every day. Remember that forgiveness does not mean that the other person is right; it removes the pain associated with that hurt. Forgiveness is not easy – in fact, it takes supernatural help to truly do it. Please take a moment to reflect – think about what you need. Think about who you need to forgive. Maybe it is a close family member, a former friend, a current co-worker…maybe it is you. Ask God to help you do it. I promise you, this burden was not meant for you to carry, and once you let it go, you will feel as light as air. I know that I need to do the same thing. In the meantime – I’ll be baking bread…and thinking of you, my friends.

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