Becoming Bread

A small book called Becoming Bread by Gunilla Norris arrived with a friend’s blessing 20 years ago as Bread of Life opened its doors. Poem by poem the phases of bread-making remind me of the care and commitment needed for the transformation of grain into food. Steps include willing entry into the kitchen as a ‘place’ of transformation; receiving raw ingredients we didn’t create; measuring, mixing , rising, punching down, shaping, encountering limits, entering the fire, waiting, standing free and so on.

Subtitled “Meditations on Loving and Transformation,” this simple book on bread-making is a powerful metaphor for a human journey in which we become bread for one another as we seek to live a Spirit-infused life.  You have become bread for many in the ways you’ve said ‘Yes’ to tending the counter-cultural work that is the Bread of Life mission over the last 20 years. From the depth of my soul, thank you -- and, we’re not finished!

Bread-making has a natural cycle, and it is now time to pass on leadership of the next phase of organizational tending to the enormously capable hands and heart of Pia Spector, our new Executive Director. With delight I welcome her to this mission. And, I am excited to turn to my deepest calling as Director of Spiritual Formation programs for Bread of Life.  In the months ahead I look forward to space for writing and program development that might serve as a yeasty presence in a world that badly needs people willing to engage the necessary, perilous work of transformation.

In her last meditation Norris says this, “To take nothing for granted and to receive much, this changes everything, makes us new. It transforms us… Being human and ordinary, we will often fail to love the whole, the dark and difficult parts. We will always try to avoid something… We will be uncertain. We will continue to hurt one another and miss the essential. We will always need mercy and compassion. We will be ineffective, stubborn, and very human.   It is ultimately our vulnerability and our powerlessness that God loves the most, I believe. For there we can and do receive, must receive, and know that everything is a gift. Even our suffering. Full of that knowledge, that sustenance, we cannot help but share our love and our lives with each other. Then we are not only becoming bread… we are bread.” With abiding gratitude and anticipation for the ways we will continue to be bread for our world together.

--- Sandra Lommasson