Freshly baked bread
There’s a retiree in my neighborhood who has been keeping himself very busy during this shutdown by baking homemade bread early each morning. He then delivers the crusty leavened gifts to the front doors of his friends and neighbors.
No reason, no occasion, and no charge
Just an honest baker spreading his brand of sunshine during these cloudy days of crisis by doing what he loves. I don’t know much about the man. I met him once last Fall, but didn’t get his number and embarrassingly, I forgot his name. Still, there they were on my porch the following Tuesday, two beautiful loaves of warm homemade bread (seeded and unseeded) for my wife and I to enjoy.
The gift of bread
Bread is life and is a powerful symbol of God’s provision for all of us. And man, it was delicious as well. A little olive oil, wine, along with the pasta that night and life was good.
The symbolism of a man baking and giving away his passion to a mere acquaintance was not lost on me at that time, but life does get in the way and I didn’t give it enough thought.
Sharing the joy
Now, I have been hearing that random loaves of bread have been showing up at my neighbors homes and people were confused.
I wasn’t. I knew immediately it was my baker friend up to his tricks. It’s been on Facebook recently and he’s just asking for addresses to know where to deliver to.
The bread bandit
He calls himself the bread bandit. He is no bandit, of course. He is a comforter. One loaf at a time, giving us our much-needed daily bread. For many … just maybe, when they need it the most.
It gets me thinking, who do we want to be when we finally emerge from this?
I mean we can’t continue arguing about face masks and politics for much longer, can we? Maybe it’s fun for some of you, but many of us are beyond tired of it.
The politics of all of this had me stunned and saddened from the start. Like there was some pandemic playbook already written and we were supposed to jump aboard a political team’s position.
Hoping for a vaccine
We were so divided before this crisis and this devil virus has made it worse. Still I am hoping for a vaccine … of course, for the virus, but also a vaccine and a therapy for the disease of division.
This long road that we’ve been on is a cold and lonely one — made barely tolerable by zoom calls, dog walks, and our collective admiration for the health care professionals and first responders fighting the fight of their lives. Words fall far short to properly articulate the heroism, strength, and grace of these humble women and men and their stories.
What’s in our future?
I’m still not sure what it will look like on the other side of this. Hardship generally makes most people resilient and stronger and it hopefully produces growth and not damage. I hope that’s the case and we tell our young people these great stories. By talking about these stories, we teach the young what is admirable in this world.
That this is who you want to be.
I pray the good and simple things like hugs and handshakes will return. That the people who have been affected both medically and economically will heal and recover quickly. That people like us will gather in joy and gratitude with our families and friends.
Maybe that needs to be our prayer … to enjoy the simple things, like my friend the bread maker instinctively knows. One loaf at a time to sustain us.
Images courtesy Pixabay.com
Originally from Baldwin NY, Pat Jackson is a long time resident of Cornelius and is the President and Founder of Master Title Agency in Charlotte NC. Pat enjoys life with his wife of 26 years and his recent college graduate daughter. Pat is active with the Knights of Columbus, Kiwanis Club of Lake Norman and is the President of Little Smiles NC, a passionate cause that supports patients, staff, and families in local hospitals. Pat enjoys lake activities, golfing, and senior softball with other old men who never outgrew their love of sports.
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