HomedotMagisReflectionsGod as the Great Baker

God as the Great Baker

bread - photo by Irina Ba on Unsplash

These days may be unsettling and uncertain, but we can be assured that God is with us, faithfully providing reassurance and love. My reassurance came recently when I decided to bake bread.

Like so many others, I am confined to my home as a preventative measure against the coronavirus. It has been more than a month now, and I have cleaned, purged, organized, and rearranged everything in my house. Then a wave of boredom swept over me. It was then I got the distinct urge to bake bread. I found a recipe calling for ingredients I had handy. The bread would take four hours and 15 minutes from start to finish. Well, I certainly had the time!

Baking the bread was a labor of love. I observed the yeast come to life as I added warm water and sugar. I carefully measured the other ingredients and watched a dough form. Just minutes ago, this ball of dough existed as separate ingredients in my pantry. Now it was ready to become something more, something bigger than its parts. After kneading, I carefully placed the dough into a bowl to begin the long process of rising. It would take three hours and two more kneadings before I put the risen dough into the pan to bake.

Forty-five minutes later, I peeked into the oven, bracing myself for either a raw mess or burnt toast. But to my surprise, I saw a loaf of golden-brown bread. I remember feeling relief and joy at seeing my finished product. “Look what I did,” I thought. I was delighted as I sat at the table with my husband and we shared the first piece of hot bread.

It wasn’t until the next day (while I ate another slice), that God gave me a moment of consolation and clarity. In that moment, I saw the bread as my life and God as the Baker. Just as all the ingredients came together to become bread, all my experiences, my highs and lows, successes and failures, have all come together to make me who I am. Even though my bread wasn’t the most perfect loaf, it was beautiful and perfect in my eyes. In that moment of consolation, I felt reassured that I am continuously formed and nurtured by God and that God is pleased with me as God’s creation in a much more infinite way than I am pleased with my creation of bread.

Like the Lord did for the disciples at Emmaus, God came to me “in the breaking of the bread.” In that moment, I felt God’s presence deep in my heart. I now have a new image of God. Along with Shepherd and Potter, I saw God as the Great Baker—a Baker who takes great care and joy in continually creating and nourishing me.

May your stay-at-home days afford you the opportunity to connect with God through whatever fills your days, be it painting, gardening, reading, or even baking bread.

Photo by Irina Ba on Unsplash.

Melinda LeBlanc
Melinda LeBlanc
Melinda LeBlanc is a spiritual director in the diocese of Baton Rouge, LA, where she offers individual direction, group direction, retreats, and prayer. She received her certification in Spiritual Direction from the Archdiocesan Spirituality Center in New Orleans and holds a Masters of Pastoral Studies degree from Loyola University. Melinda serves on the board of the Louisiana Association of Spiritual Directors. She considers it a blessing to be a part of others’ spiritual journeys and enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband Darrel and entertaining her two cats.

13 COMMENTS

  1. A beautiful reflection,here in England l too am in isolation 7th week now what was l going to do?well Our Blessed Lord very quickly and determinedly directed me outside to the most terrible mess which once was a lovely garden, l couldn’t possibly tackle that ( as l live alone ) but a spell of good warm sunny weather saw me out in my shed looking for some tools for the job, The Lord worked with me each day. It was hard and exhausting his presence always so close, today l have a lovely space where l can relax it has bee one of the most satisfying things l have ever done. Praise and thank you Lord.

  2. I love to make bread and I also love to share it with my children and grand children .If I have extra I will share it with my friends. This past month my grandson Daniel who is 15 took an interest and learn to master the art of making bread. It was the best gift ever. It is nice to be able to pass on a favourite tradition to your love ones. I sent this beautiful reflection to all the members of my family who make bread . I am sure it will help them in their spiritual journey. AS for myself I just loved the reflection and I know it will come into my heart and soul now every time I make bread. Thanks for sharing your story and blessings upon you this day. Carol O’Brien

    • Thanks to you Carol, for passing on such a lovely tradition and quality time of baking with your family!

  3. I love this. I never thought of Jesus fashioning me this way, but I see it now. My parents wanted all us kids to be physicians, but somehow I was the one chosen by our Lord to do His work in this way.
    When I was a little girl, I read my mother’s Nursing journals. Jesus, the Divine Physician has helped me grow in empathy and skill in healing of my patients. Looking through this lens, I can see Him “baking” me into His servant. Thank you for this nice piece. It has opened my eyes to a new understanding of how Jesus works through me. And how open I want to be to his love and grace!

  4. Wonderful!
    I haven’t got round to baking bread yet – too busy writing!
    It’s as a wordsmith that I especially appreciated your story.
    The way we put words together is crucial, if we want
    to bring our message, our poem, our reflections, home to the reader.
    That is most certainly a gift from God.

  5. Thank you for a very different and thought- provoking reflection. The BREAD of Life.! Excellent. God Bless. A.M.D.G.

  6. Thank you so much, Melinda. I was having one of those days where everything goes wrong – gift for my granddaughter arrived in the mail broken in pieces, washer overflowed and kitchen sink backed up, etc. I really needed this wonderful reflection.

  7. This is absolutely beautiful! I would love to have been able to have a piece of that delicious bread! Nothing like homemade bread! But your sharing your story was my “prayer bread” for today!

    Thank you so much!

    • Glad you enjoyed it Barbara! May you be nourished with God’s presence in the events of your day!

  8. Thanks so much for this delightful reflection, Melinda…I thoroughly enjoyed reading and reflecting on your thoughts and words.
    I grew up in Shreveport and am now a “partially retired” spiritual director also. Blessings to you and your family.

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