Food and Faith
More than eleven years ago I was a young new editor working for a Christian publishing house. Having only been married a year or so before, I was still settling into my role as a wife and homemaker. Thankfully, my husband wasn’t very picky when it came to meals, and with both of us working full-time, we often shared the task of cooking. As much as I enjoyed cooking, and food for that matter, the fact was that I was not a great cook and had much to learn.
Christmas was coming and I wanted to give my boss a gift. Loving food as I do, I thought a gift of banana bread would be perfect. I made two loaves, one for the director of book publishing and one for my husband and me. I wrapped up the banana bread in cute, red cellophane and gave it to my boss before he left for his holiday vacation. That same night, I sliced a piece of bread for my husband, Jeff.
My heart sank.
Because while the loaf looked perfect on the outside, when I cut into it, I found a doughy—almost liquid—center! How embarrassing! I’d cooked the loaves side by side, so I had no doubt that the loaf I’d given my boss was just as un-cooked as the one I’d kept. Jeff tried to comfort me as I cried over the situation. It’s the thought that counts, he’d reminded me (which was not very comforting at that moment).
More than eleven years have passed, and to this day, I’ve never given out banana bread without pricking it with toothpicks to make sure the bread is cooked all the way through.
Still, Jeff was right. While my boss may have chuckled when he realized that his new editor was not a great baker, I know he appreciated the effort.
I’ve given birth to three babies, and every time, friends and family have brought food—casseroles of all kinds, zucchini bread, cupcakes, even breakfast!
A friend of ours passed away recently; all I could think to do was make a pot roast with vegetables and take it over to the grieving husband.
I had foot surgery several months ago, and the women of my supper club bombarded my family with amazing meals.
There’s just something about sharing food with each other. It’s how we show how much we care. When someone is weak or going through a difficult time, showing up with food meets an immediate need. I love the passages in Scripture that mention food—Jesus cooking fish for the disciples, turning water into wine, breaking bread at the Last Supper (just to name a few). One of my favorite Bible verses is John 6:35: Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
I love that Jesus calls himself the “bread of life.” When I think of bread, I think of something warm, nourishing, soft, delicious . . . satisfying. Isn’t that so like Jesus?
When an opportunity arises, I’m very happy to provide a meal for a friend in need. But Jesus tells us that whoever comes to him will never go hungry again. It’s a different kind of contentment. Faith can fulfill us in a way that nothing else can.
My love of food and cooking has grown over the years (though I’m still not an expert by any means!). There’s nothing I enjoy more than setting plates around my table and feeding my family or hosting a dinner party for a group of friends. Food is a blessing. But Jesus . . . well, He’s the bread of life and He meets the deepest need in all of us.
Brandy Bruce is a wife, mother, writer, and book editor. And she’s someone who really loves dessert. She’s the author of the novels Table for Two, Second Chance Café, and Recipe for Love. Brandy makes her home in Colorado with her husband and their three children. You can connect with her online at www.brandybruce.blogspot.com.
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