On being bread

While waiting for an exercise class to begin yesterday, I got talking with someone who said she had given up bread for Lent. This is because she especially enjoys bread and hopes that not eating it for a few weeks will help her lose weight. I like bread too, but I'm not giving it up for Lent.

Today's prayer/poem at #BigRead14 is called 'Bread'. You can listen to Amy Boucher Pye reading it, or look at the words, or preferably do both. I think poetry needs to be heard as well as silently read. I tried reading it aloud, allowing my gut responses to colour the interpretation. This resulted in a long pause after the first three lines:
"Abba Jesus, 
you ask me to follow. 
Let me follow you as bread."

I think I'd expected the prayer to be about receiving or giving bread. The idea of being bread came as a bit of a shock. "No Jesus, I don't want to follow you as bread" was my initial spontaneous response. Then I avoided thinking about that further by retreating into humour, imagining myself as a round cottage loaf running on tiny spindly legs and looking ridiculous as I failed to keep up with with a retreating figure climbing a rocky uphill path. 

As my time for writing is running out now, I think there will need to be an update or a part 2 of this later. Against my perfectionist tendency I'll publish this as unfinished and unpolished now. In the meantime do you have any thoughts about what it might mean to "be bread"?


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