Every week local grocery stores donate bread that’s getting close to the sell-by date for the Sunday Community meal. From loaves of white sliced bread to kalamata olive focaccia to Ezekiel bread we receive quite the assortment. My primary role during the evening is manning the check-in and bread table each week (for the most part). Every week one of the guests looks for cinnamon raisin bread – his favorite. In spite of the huge variety, we never get cinnamon raisin bread. Cinnamon raisin English muffins – yes, but not bread.
So today I was setting out all the bread – mostly hamburger and hot dog buns. I guess people didn’t have as many Labor Day weekend cookouts as expected? Anyway… there in the middle of what seemed like hundreds of packages of white enriched hot dog and hamburger buns was a loaf of delicious looking (and smelling) cinnamon bread.
I was SO excited. I quickly put it aside for this particular guest. We don’t usually do that…but I just couldn’t resist!
Every time the elevator doors opened I looked to see if he was going to be in the group exiting. I waited, and waited…and finally there he was! I was ready to jump out of my chair to give him this loaf of bread, but don’t worry, I kept my cool. He made it the the front of the line to sign in and I presented him with the fragrant loaf of cinnamon bread.
His response? I don’t have a toaster.
It was so anti-climatic. Such a letdown. He thanked me and took the bread. Week after week we make small talk about cinnamon raisin bread and toast…and that’s how it ended. What I hoped would be a little extra blessing to brighten his week was really nothing more than another stark reminder of what he doesn’t have.
Sometimes reality is harsh. It can be disappointing. For many the barriers are numerous and overwhelming. But I choose to believe that little things can soften the harshness of reality in some way, for sometimes it’s the littlest things that give us just the glimmer of hope we need.