Sunday, October 20, 2013

Daily bread

Sometimes I wish there was a way to store joy, so I could hide away the smell of fall leaves, wind in my hair rushing through the countryside, dancing in my kitchen, the feeling of being known and loved anyway, save all this abundance of joy for days when it's harder to find. I'm home again, for a brief stint of grace-filled, grace abundant days and it's too short. And I'm back to school tomorrow, which I love but which wears me down with busy-ness, with too little room in my calendar and too much caring, too many causes. But the thing about this semester, which is somehow the hardest and the best I've had, is that I'm slowly learning the meaning of daily bread, that grace is for today, enough for today and not tomorrow.
I keep chanting "give us today our daily bread." And that bread is the daily grace that gets me through, the long list of everyday kindnesses showered on me, the pages and pages of numbered gifts in my gratitude journal, the fact that I fall into bed exhausted but fulfilled each night. Daily bread, Jesus' reminder of God's faithfulness in the desert wandering. Bread from heaven every morning, and Friday's enough for two, gathering for Sabbath. But most days we're forbidden to gather double, and I don't think that's because God likes rules, but because that is how grace works. Enough for today, and not tomorrow.
And worry is wormy manna, the sour taste of fear, hands clutching for control. When I try to gather for tomorrow, store up joys in fear of dry seasons I know will come, they turn wormy in my hands and I clutch at memories and compare the now to the past, which is always rosier in remembering. I cannot taste tomorrow's grace because it is today. 
And this is the character of God, and this is learning trust. I'll number my overflowing list of graces tonight, and without fail there will be more tomorrow morning, enough to get me through. And more than just through, enough to give me joy. Because that is God and God is good. I'll taste tonight's graces, full to bursting with joy (literally full to bursting with home-cooked goodness) and know that tomorrow I will taste the goodness of the Lord again. 

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