Practicing our faith through the times of the Coronavirus

Day 33, April 15, 2020
“One bread…one Body”

 “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” With that simple question I started a mini-firestorm on Facebook. I had two old bananas on the counter. They were so ripe to eat them was out of the question. Spotted, soft, even mushy, they were past their expiration date in terms of peeling and eating. But I had another idea with those ripened bananas. So I posted a picture of the bananas on Facebook and asked, “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”

The responses were immediate. Many were thinking exactly what I was thinking. Banana nut bread. I was a little bored that day, so I used those two old, ripened bananas to do a photo essay of sorts.

·       Are you thinking what I’m thinking? (The picture of the bananas)

·       This is what I’m thinking. (A picture of the recipe for Banana nut bread, the recipe stained with spills and splatters from much previous use…proving this was a tried and true recipe that we have used for more than 30 years)

·       Batter up (A shot of the batter completely mixed together)

·       And she’s in the oven (Placing the pan in the oven)

·       My final post said, “Let the feasting begin.” (Voila, the completed masterpiece)

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Many were thinking the exact same thing as me. But not everyone was thinking the exact same thing.

·       Sarah was thinking frozen banana ice cream, Robert wanted me to freeze them and make smoothies, my cousin Karen (and several others) suggested banana pudding, Susan said banana cream pie, which elicited a loud Amen from Sandi, Brian from high school days said banana pancakes, Bill who is traveling far away boasted he had just had a banana milk shake, Tom was in favor of an ice cream sundae with bananas and Bill Heep went all the way in with a banana split, Dianne had the five star restaurant idea of Bananas Foster, and my good buddy Jason has obviously been in quarantine a long time…he said Banana Daquiris.

·       It turns out not everyone was thinking recipes. Ken from youth group days in California saw those two overripe bananas and he was thinking of social distancing. On the same line of thinking was Jan who saw the bananas and thought, “Flatten the curve.” And perhaps the best baker I know, our dear friend Punky offered practical advice that might connect thoughts of the Coronavirus and cooking. “Do you know if you separate the bananas, they will not ripen as fast as if they are joined?”

As I slid the pan filled with banana nut bread batter into an oven set at 350 degrees and waited while it baked, some wonderful thoughts came to mind. Some people were thinking what I was thinking. Not only were they thinking what I was thinking, they even had suggestions to make nut bread a little differently, perhaps even a little better. Better batter…that’ll preach. Others thought of completely different uses of the bananas. New ideas, new insights, different ideas, different insights. Some thought of the same thing I did, and some thought differently. Unity and diversity…that’ll preach.

The inviting smell of baking bread soon filled the air. The sweet smell wafting through the air sent my mind to other places that are sweet, to a fragrant aroma that is mentioned in the bible. Reflecting on all the precious friends who had responded to my initial query, “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” I thought of what a blessing it is to have so many friends in faith. Paul says that our brothers and sisters in faith are like the aroma of Christ. Right there in our kitchen that aroma filled the air, such a gift to know that over the years God has blessed me, God has blessed us, God has blessed us all with a community of faith that is made richer and more wonderful by both our unity and our diversity. That is a fragrant aroma.

And then the baking was completed. I pulled the finished product out of the oven. It looked so beautiful. Carefully removing it from the pan I set it out on full display. There it was. A loaf of bread. Just a simple loaf of bread. Maybe I should ask my question again. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Here is what I’m thinking. One bread…one Body. That’s what I’m thinking. How beautiful is the Body of Christ. And friends, that will preach!

With the love of Christ,