Everyone really enjoyed our Christmas gift this year. I was even asked for my bread recipe.
As I pondered this request, my heart was saddened, for I knew that no matter how many ingredients they may have for my bread recipe, there is one ingredient that I have not been able to find in Costa Rica. . .
I brought this ingredient with me from the United States. Although people may be able to find it, somewhere that I don’t know about in Costa Rica, I don’t think that they will truly understand how helpful this ONE ingredient is to a loaf of bread, thus not feeling the need to go and find out where to purchase it. And I don’t have enough gluten myself to share with them; I am on the last 1/2 of my last bag. I am hoping to have some brought to me in January (wink, wink).
So what do I do about sharing my recipe? Especially since it is highly unlikely that their bread making efforts will bring them the loaf of bread they are desiring?
I did come up with a fun “Handmade bread recipe” that I gave to a sweet Temple Matron in November BUT, I also shared with her my second-to-last bag of gluten. This one ingredient will make or break a successful loaf of bread, thus crushing or over-joying a new baker in the process.
Although we can alter our preferences to yeast and even salt, you can’t make a loaf of fluffy, soft, squishy bread without gluten. So what do I do?
It got me thinking.
Isn’t that just they way life goes? Why is it that we sometimes get “the secret ingredients” of life handed to us, while at other times, we are living without them, left HOPING that someone will share their their ingredients to making a great loaf of bread with us.
We even might ask them for their “recipe of happiness” but when that secret ingredient isn’t available for them to share, they might choose to either not share the recipe with us at all, OR, share the recipe, leaving us to wonder “What is gluten? Why do I need it? Maybe I’ll just make the bread without it?”
Then when we make the bread, we are left possibly feeling worthless or without the gifts to bake like others have. When in reality, it REALLY IS the secret ingredient that makes ALL the difference? Not the baker at all.
Last week, the kids and I learned about an attribute of Christ: Charity and Love. We read that Charity is “the pure love of God” and one must PRAY to have this kind of love. It hit me . . . THIS is a secret ingredient. Why, oh why, do I choose to raise my children or live my life without it? Why do I constantly throw my life together without first seeking to add, or know more about, this amazing secret and powerful ingredient?
I have felt this wonderful gift in my life. I even crave it. I think back to all the memories I have where charity was at the heart of the memory. Without charity, would our positive and most favorite memories even have the power that they do?
Charity truly IS that gift to deeply love and forgive, while also feeling loved ourselves. I wish we ALL could have THAT feeling, while also always appreciating it. Hence the reason we need to keep on trying, keep on stretching, keep on working at seeking to ask for that secret ingredient to be more a part of our lives.
Either through us or through others, may we be seekers of this ULTIMATE secret ingredient.
Like in THIS moment. Last week a mariachi band showed up at 9:00 a.m. and serenaded this woman, her baby and a man below their balcony. It actually touched my heart. As I stood outside, enjoying the sweet, festive, yet romantic music they performed, I thought of “who” could have sent them this gift? Was it her father, a friend, her boyfriend/husband standing beside her? Did the parents do this for their baby girl as a way to celebrate this time of year?
Regardless of who it was that sent this gift, it DID feel special. It was unique and out of the norm and the people acted genuinely touched. THAT is Charity!
My thoughts were confirmed as I walked into the house, to find El Gringo sitting at the dining room table, supposed to be doing his math work, listening to the music that floated through our opened windows. He looked up at me with a twinkle in his eyes. He also liked the music and the gesture it gave.
I asked him what he thought and he said that he too wanted to do something like that one day, for his wife and babies. I was touched. In THAT moment, I could FEEL God’s love all around us. It not only touched the family being sung to, but it spread all the way to our home as well.
It also touched the sweet, elderly woman being wheeled around in her wheel-chair, so delicate and frail. I hoped she enjoyed it even more than we did. Charity truly has the power to still our troubled, aching hearts, and calm our weary minds. I am grateful that this gift is STILL available to man.
Thanks for listening,