The Unwanted Loaf

July 13, 1998
by Bruce M. Dinsmore

Matthew 10:29-31 – Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of my Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered So don't be afraid, you are worth more than many sparrows.

It was a perfectly ordinary loaf of bread. Baked in a local bakery, rather than conglomerate bread, it was unsliced and packaged in a plain plastic bag with a little paper label.

It was unwanted. It was all alone on the bottom shelf in the store. Someone had stuck a hand-lettered sign over it, saying "Reduced", meaning the price; but no one had bought the little loaf. It was very hard to see the little loaf, much less to want to buy such a forlorn little thing.

Look at that man who's just come into the store. He's got bread on his mind. He's scanning all the bread shelves, looking, looking. He picks up one Italian-style loaf, and goes to put that under his arm, and then puts it back. Looking, looking. Nothing he sees seems to satisfy him.

He seems ready to walk out of the store, when something makes him wheel around, and he spies the little loaf, alone on the bottom shelf. "Aha! you're just what I'm looking for," says the man. He hefts the loaf, reads the label, looks at it from every direction, sticks it under his arm with his other purchases, and marches up to the cash register. "I've found just what I'm looking for," says the man, as he pays for the little loaf.

Now, the whole reason for being for a loaf of bread is to be eaten, and that fate didn't escape the little loaf. But the little loaf that no one wanted didn't end up as sandwiches. It was placed on a silver plate, and the little loaf no one wanted became the Bread that everyone wanted; after it had been broken, and offered, and everyone in the Church had been told "Take, eat, this is my Body, broken for you."

Life's like that, I think. There is many a day — perhaps today — when you're feeling on the bottom shelf of life. Perhaps a relationship has ended too soon for you, for whatever reason, and you're feeling as unwanted as the little loaf. Maybe even feeling that if someone put a "Reduced for Quick Sale" sign on you, you wouldn't go for much? Excuse the pun, but maybe you're feeling that all you've got left is the crumbs of life, while other people get more than their fair share of bread?

Everyone feels like that some days. There is a world of wisdom in the saying "This, too, will pass." Our little loaf moved from unwanted obscurity to significant food, as part of a relationship to Jesus Christ. The bread became Communion bread and helped our Church community remember and re-enact the story of the Last Supper. Okay, it's stretching a point to say a loaf of bread can have a relationship with our Lord, but the point I'm trying to make is that human lives, your, mine and everyone's can have a relationship with Jesus. You can ignore Him. Or you can choose to call Him Saviour and Lord. In this high-tech, impersonal world, it's very easy to feel insignificant. What we all have to remember is that we are all creations of a loving God and God doesn't make junk!

When talking with His disciples, Jesus said the loving care of God extends to knowing and counting each hair. The fate of a tiny bird is a concern to Almighty God. What worries are on your heart and mind are concerns to God as well, if only you ask in prayer for God to help carry your concerns. The world isn't always just. God is concerned about every crumb in your life, and God loves you so much, God wants to give you the whole loaf.

Prayer: Loving God, we all feel like "bottom shelf" people some time. Help us remember we're Your creation, not accidental junk. You have placed us on Earth for a reason. Remind us that Your love is bread for our souls, and we are eternally significant in your love. Amen.

About the author:

Bruce M. Dinsmore <dinsmore@pathcom.com>
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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