Since my vision problems began to escalate, my husband, John, has taken over a lot of household tasks that I used to consider mine. When I went back to work, we began to share the job of planning and cooking dinner. Now, however, he has taken over that job almost completely. It is hard for me to shop, read recipes, find ingredients, and do the other tasks associated with preparing meals. Plus, when I get home from work I often need to take some time to rest my eyes. This is usually just when the meal needs to be prepared. I am very grateful that he has taken this on without complaint. John actually seems to enjoy cooking and loves to try new recipes.
A few weeks ago, John arrived home from work carrying a ziplock bag full of liquid. I took one look at it and knew what it was – Friendship Bread. I immediately became stressed. I have dealt with the demands of this bread before. It arrives with a list of daily tasks to be performed – “mushing” the bag, adding an ingredient or two, and finally, dividing the mixture – baking some and (the hardest task) giving some away.
I told him that this bread was going to be his responsibility. I have no patience for performing the daily tasks that the “bread” requires. He dutifully took on the role of Friendship Bread Maker. At the end of the first series, he was not able to give away all of the allotted portions, and so kept one extra portion for himself. Today, he is at the end of the second series of tasks and is faced with either making double the bread and giving double away or making quadruple the bread and being back where he started. I don’t know what he has decided, but he is happily baking away as I write this.
John’s attitude toward this Friendship Bread mirrors his attitude toward his friends. He gathers a friend in and never looks back. He embraces people wholeheartedly and loves them unconditionally. As my vision deteriorates, I sometimes want to close myself off from friends. John continues to encourage me to get out among friends, to trust them enough to ask them to pray for me, to let them in on my struggles. With him by my side, I feel brave and open. With his support I can take on almost anything. Anything, that is, except Friendship Bread.