“Give us this day our daily bread.”
I have worked the nightshift at the Village Atrium for many years. It was an adjustment at first, because shift work can be really hard on one’s sleep patterns. But even though I’ve had opportunities to move to the day shift, I continue to work nights in large part because of my affection for my co-workers. We are a tight bunch.
Nevertheless, it can be frustrating to sleep during the day when everyone else in the family is awake and doing things. I sometimes feel like I’m missing out on everything. I think many of us have had that feeling during the pandemic, regardless of when we are awake or sleeping.
But as a night shift worker and daytime sleeper, I have also experienced a special bright spot, one that only came about only because of the pandemic. My husband Scott, like many people, decided he needed a hobby during the quarantine, to keep from going stir crazy. And so he decided to learn how to make bread. He learned to make a variety of breads, including an old family Swedish rye that he hadn’t tasted since he was a boy.
I know what you’re thinking – the bright spot was the opportunity for me to eat all that bread! I confess I have enjoyed it. Homemade bread is always superior to anything you can buy in a store. But that wasn’t the real bright spot for me. It was the aroma of that bread as Scott pulled it fresh from the oven. You see, he generally timed it so that the bread came out just when I was waking up. What happiness to awake to the smell of freshly baked bread!
It was a reminder to me of the many little joys in life that we all tend to take for granted. I think our being deprived of so many big things in the midst of a global pandemic has caused us to focus more intently on the smaller but still significant tiny blessings that enrich our lives so much, like the intoxicating aroma of fresh bread. I think for the rest of my life I’ll remember that lesson, with every loaf that comes out of the oven. Each loaf is a reminder to look for those little bright spots that keep us going even in hard times.
The people of Grace share their favorite bible stories for the 2023 Lenten Devotional: I Love to Tell the Story. Each day's devotional will be automatically posted so come back daily after 7 am for a new reflection.