Sleeping with Bread: Part 3, Healing through Repetition

A newly made, golden baguette lay between the storm and wooden doors generously wrapped with saran wrap and a blue satin bow. My new friend, Lindsay Harrison had sent this text message earlier that day: “I left a gift at your door.”  She didn’t know how much her and her young husband’s hand-shaped loaf would nourish.

“I am the Bread of Life.” This has become the answer to all my post-move neediness.  Groping to find value in another’s eyes? Summer, come eat Bread.   Treading water through hours of loneliness?  Come, daughter, I’ve laid a feast.  Grieving at the empty hours, the silent phone, the loss of a ministry? Be still and come to the table. Over and over I sense, “Summer, pull your chair up to the table, open the Word, sit still in My Presence and eat Life.”  (Maybe you remember this pre-move prayer for bread, this life-changing litany.)

 

The day before I had gone on a hunt for answers. Opened the Word, a concordance, a journal. I was weary of the strained search for nourishment in another’s eyes.

 

Moving can be such a trigger. Our identity is stripped, roots pulled up exposing the unhealed, insecure parts of us.  Fear of rejection, an inflamed nerve, grips at the most inopportune times and all of a sudden I am standing in the halls of my junior high again, frizzy permed hair, wearing high tops and worried about whether I remembered to put on deodorant.

 

Summer, stop. Come.

 

“I am the Bread of Life.”

 

You will have no ability to love, to get out the towel and basin until you have had a feast of Me.

 

But what happens when the words are just not getting through?  I knew “I am the Bread of Life, but they stood alone, separate. They were entirely theoretical. I couldn’t touch them, smell them, taste them and they slipping through my mind every time I tried to hold on. I needed “I am the Bread of Life” to be signaling strong in my frontal cortex, the answer to every question, present with every lull.  I needed Jesus Himself incarnated.

 

I tucked “I am the Bread of Life” golden and wrapped up warm beside me that night in bed.  Slow deep breath out, “I am the Bread of Life.” Slow deep breath in, “I am the Bread of Life.” I am the Bread of Life.  I AM the Bread of Life. I am THE Bread of Life.  I am the BREAD of Life. I am the bread of LIFE.

 

A nineteenth century uprooted wayfarer had experienced the constant prayer, the need for our minds to be renewed by repetition as he walked down roads in Russia. He wandered with this as his only companion: “Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.” It is the same cry of the blind reaching out to a passing Jesus for healing.  (Luke 18:38) Like the blind man, in this ancient anonymous memoir, The Way of the Pilgrim, the pilgrim had traveled with those words pounding in every step, breathing it deep with every slow breath until it had transformed his identity.  “Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.” Who are you? A sinner, full of the mercy of God. Who are you seeking? Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It was in the constant repetition that his eyes and his soul were healed.

 

I curled up with truth and woke up with Life. Repetition through the night hours shook out subconscious demons, healed my hunger and I woke wanting Jesus. Only Jesus. I desired to eat Jesus, feast on Jesus, touch Jesus, feed others Jesus. And there it was, the next morning. On my doorstep was the kindness of the yeasty risen goodness the Harrison’s had made. I slipped the ribbon off the goodness of God and held Him in my hands.

Summer Gross

You’ve got to try this sleeping with bread, friends.  Just take a short scripture to bed with you at night, tuck in with the Word. Neuroscientists agree that it helps to reshape the brain. (They are just catching up with Scripture ) His mercies are new every morning.

Maybe this all seems murky, friend, this “sleeping with bread.”  These may help. Click on the titles to these other posts:

Sleeping with Bread: Part 1, A Simple Bedtime Practice

Sleeping with Bread: Part 2, How His Presence Changes Everything 

and another time when Scripture penetrated the unhealed spaces:

Where my Story is Challenged by Truth

 

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