THE BREAD IN THE SUGAR
Maybe I’m the only one that has heard of this, but my momma always put a piece of bread in her brown sugar container. The bread is full of moisture and keeps the sugar damp, preventing it from clumping and turning into little rocks that are nearly impossible to cook with. The bread hardens as the sugar remains soft. Without the bread in my momma’s brown sugar jar, we would have clumpy, bumpy, hard as a two-by-four sugar.
For some reason this metaphor has been playing through my mind the past few weeks. Maybe it’s because I forgot to put a piece of bread in my sugar and have been attacking the darn bowl with a knife for a chunk worth using.
It has made me realize how important the bread is for that sugar.
I thought maybe I needed to chuck the sugar and buy a new one, but instead I put a piece of bread in the bowl and guess what happened? It revived that beautiful mound of sugary delight. It took the hard as stone sugar and gave it life again. Game on coffee cake.
I realized something after all of this sugar drama. I am the sugar. We are the sugar. We need the softening, the nourishment, the comfort of a piece of bread to keep us safe and held together yet not falling completely apart. Just as we need the bread, it too needs us. It can’t be the hero or heroine without our meek souls to comfort and nourish. It has a duty in that bowl, and we allow it to fulfill that duty. You’re welcome, bread.
And just like bread needs us, we are needed by the outside world to fulfill our purpose, live out our destiny, to be the exact person that we were created to be.
I don’t want to get all churchy on you, RKCO respects people of all faiths, denominations and creeds. However, I’ve got to be me and that means I’m going to get a little preachy up in here.
Let’s break this down a bit.
If we are the sugar. Who is the bread?
I’m thinking big picture here, so I’m going to go with Jesus as my bread. John 6:33 states “For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
For me, personally, that trickles down to everything. He comforts me and makes me whole. God made me in this time and in this place. He chose me for right where I am, to be with who I am with, to have the parents and siblings I love so dearly, to have the babies that I am blessed with, and live in this time with the talents and gifts I’ve been given.
Think about that for a minute.
One life on earth.
Out of billions of people and possibilities THIS is where you are and when you were meant to live. Not by mistake…by purposeful placement.
Some of you may be saying, “Thank you, Jesus! I love my life!” Others of you may be asking why this is the hand you’ve been dealt. Why is your story not written in a prettier color or happier tone?
We must stay diligent, my friends. We know not what the future holds for us, but He does. It may not make sense now, but He knows. He has seen it all. He knows what good will come of this. He already knows how this will play out and end. He knows our tale and has it in His hand. We are fearfully and wonderfully made and can do anything we put our minds to. Our stories are just beginning and we have the power to help write them. Making bad into good, conquering our fears, being who He made us to be.
So, for me, Jesus is my bread. I have other breads too, though.
Like, family and close friends. The people that helped raised you and share your mindset. The people that make you feel the greatest of feelings, because you care so deeply for them and vice versa. My children and husband, that light up my life like nothing else and bring new meaning to everything I do. Making every breath ever more important to savor and each second ever more important to embrace.
I need those pieces of bread. God gave me those pieces of bread.
What if I don’t use them then? What if I grow weak, angry, displaced, upset, worried, fearful, anxious, depressed, sad, feeling alone, or just have no one to share my immense happiness with?
I’ll be the sugar that grows hard, clumpy, lonely and worth less. Not worthless. I can still use that hard sugar. I can still hack away at it and hope it “bakes down.” It’s just worth less and not nearly as good.
But sugar with the bread…that’s the sugar we all want and all want to be.
Maybe your bread is something entirely different than mine. Maybe yours is your work, hobbies, or pets. Maybe your bread is alone time and meditation. Maybe it’s donating your time to soup kitchen’s or reading to the elderly in nursing homes. Maybe it’s as simple as keeping your house neat and tidy, or as complex as not letting your demons take control.
Whatever your bread is, find it and let it nourish your soul.
My friends, right now we are facing something we hope to never face again in our lifetime.
This is a scary reality that we are all trying to wrap our brains around. We don’t know what is true or not, what is wrong or right to do, how we should or shouldn’t react, what is too much or too little for preparedness… The list goes on and on.
Anxiety is at its’ peak. We are all at wits end and we have just started this tango with the coronavirus.
Clinging to our bread is going to be crucial now, folks.
We have our supplies. The TP is stocked. The freezer is full. Our children will make it and still be smart little sponges when they leave their layer in four weeks.
But do we have our bread and are we using it as we should in this situation? Let’s use it to our advantage and others’.
I will lean on my Savior and faith. I will cry out when it gets to be too much and I will have my children kneel with me. I will rejoice daily and stay as positive as possible.
I will keep in touch with my loved ones and friends, making sure they know how much of a priority they are to me and how much I love them. We will skype, facetime, snapchat, and Facebook. We will make this work.
Our bread will nourish us and we pray to help nourish them too.
Spoiler alert: You are not just the sugar; you are the bread to many.
Just as you need your bread to stay nourished and supplied, others seek the same in you.
Be prepared to be the shoulder, the grace, the peace, the comfort. Be ready for the tears and neurotic laughs, the backhanded jeers, or unmistakable panic. Be ready to be the bread.
Your family, friends, loved ones…they need you. Your community needs you.
Right now, people are going out of work. I may go out of work. It’s scary. Children are at home for the next four weeks. Some without sustainable nourishment or loving surroundings, without proper care or even sanitary environments. Some can’t feed their families. Those with plenty will still need comfort in this time of unknown.
Be their bread. We are smart people. We are crafty people. We are ingenuitive people. Come together. Bring together your church groups, your women’s groups, your community groups, or parent groups. See what resources you can pool together to make a difference from the comfort of your homes.
If you can’t do that then let others be your bread. Find refuge and strength in them.
Be their bread. Embrace your bread. Sugar, we can do this.
About the Author:
Iesha Toft is a mother, singer, songwriter, and author. She loves Jesus, but swears a little! You can find her touring Northwest Iowa with her band She's With Us and enjoying the great outdoors with her husband and four children. She labels herself as a true farm girl even though she lives "in town" with the mayor of Royal.