Monday, April 14, 2014


My grandmother baked bread. My mother baked bread. I can smell our kitchen on baking day in my imagination--one of the favorite nostalgic fragrances of my growing years.

FD 1.jpgI don't bake bread. I buy it from the bakery--real bread, hot from the oven, in a loaf, not sliced, the whole grain kind, chuck full of fifteen grains with seeds all over the crunchy crust. The kind of bread that when you take a bite, you can actually chew it and savor every mouthful. I time my purchase to the day and hour when the baker promised that a new batch is due from the oven each day. I want to smell the primal fragrance of daily fresh bread.

I love to eat bread. Oh, I know that bread is loaded with carbs, but they are offset by the natural fiber and mega-nourishment. I'm willing to eat leftover bread if I must, since it retains its food value, but I miss its fresh-baked scent. I really don't like to eat or serve yesterday's bread although you can freshen it with a little moisture for a few seconds in the microwave.

I take joy in sharing fresh bread. I'd rather invite a friend over for coffee and fresh bread with real butter. You don't even need jam. Perhaps with some cheese and fruit. It's a feast for the taste buds rather than indulging in some sugary confection loaded with calories which assaults the appetite.

Throughout the world and over the centuries bread in its various forms has been the essential, primary staple. When Jesus declared, "man shall not live by bread alone" and "I AM the Bread of life," He was giving us His eternal perspective. "Give us this day our daily bread" in the Lord's Prayer shows us the Father's concern for our basic daily provision as well as pointing forward spiritually toward the sacrifice of His own body for our salvation on the Cross and memorialized in the Eucharist--His real Body and Blood.

I want to offer fresh bread to those who look to me for encouragement, spiritual help, and guidance. I don't want to offer stale bread. As I feed afresh on the Bread of the Word of God for the needs of my own soul, the Lord multiplies the loaves and provides more than enough for me to share afresh with others.


A fresh touch from You
how I long for it, Lord!

My spirit grows stale
from fast food on the run
trying to sustain myself
on yesterday's bread or
spiritual glazed donuts
and empty junk food.

Each day I need to taste
fresh Bread of Life
*prepared by Your hands
in the early morning
upon a fire of charcoal
as You provided breakfast
fish and bread generously spread
for those who followed You
beside the Sea of Tiberius.

Give me this day my daily bread
Homemade Bread of Your Word prepared
by nail-pierced resurrected hands
kindling burning first-love in me.

Since I have tasted of You
I cannot live on instant food
I cannot walk or work sustained
by man's baked goods alone
even freshened in a microwave oven.
I must have Your wholesome Bread
delivered fresh each day
from Your heart to mine.

Only that will satisfy and nourish
others who look expectantly
for me to share generously
the fresh Bread You've first given me.    
* "And so when they got out upon the land, they saw a charcoal fire already laid,
 a fish placed on it, and bread...and Jesus said to them, 
'Come and have breakfast.'"
  (John 21:9, 12)


Jennifer Botkin Phillips said...

Leona, I could so relate to your poem. Beautifully written and a great reminder to stay close to God so we will be at our best for his service.

Jennifer Botkin Phillips said...

What a wonderful post! I love reading about the fresh bread your mother and grandmother used to make! I've enjoyed baking fresh bread and so love the aroma wafting from the oven while it's baking. We do need the bread of life. What a blessing reading your post!