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Shared Bread

Shared Bread

WORDS Colonel Margaret Hay | ART Nicole Gesmundo

On Sunday morning, I was dashing about getting ready to go down to our local Salvation Army corps (church) when I spotted a package on the doorstep, two crispbreads wrapped in baking paper, sitting on a two-dollar coin. Who, I wondered, was sharing their bread, and why?

Only minutes before I’d been thinking about the important work of the Upper Hutt Corps foodbank, and reading some old jotted notes from Isaiah 55:1–3:

Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labour on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live.

Though Isaiah’s hearers were doubtless often hungry, the prophet’s offer was of bread of a different kind, free but not cheap, hunger being the essential qualification, destitution even. I had been wondering how this ancient call might sound now on the streets of Upper Hutt, when I’d spotted the little package at the back door.

The mystery of the shared bread and the coin was solved when I arrived home from the Sunday meeting. There was our neighbour, six-year-old Grace, with a box of fresh vegetables that her mum had bought from the local farmers’ market. Grace explained about the crispbread. She had decided to share it with us, and the two-dollar coin was from her money box, ‘because I wanted to do something nice for you guys’. Thanks so much, Grace. We love the veg. And you can’t beat shared bread.

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