Miracle of the Bread Machines

Feed Us..we're hungry
By Carol Ane Woodard
November 12, 2009

Like most people, I don’t like to leave my comfort zone. I approach new things with extreme caution. And I think that’s a good thing.

People who tame wild animals understand this psychology. To get a bird to land, they sit like a stature with seeds in their hand. They do this for hours, days and weeks. Gradually the birds see them as part of the landscape, and will eat out of their hands.

I’m like those birds. I distrust the new. For example, I recently got a new dishwasher. Now, dishwashers are my friend. When my old one was dying, I wouldn’t let it go. Not until my children began arriving for dinner with their own silverware and plates.

“Do you think they are trying to tell me something?” I asked my husband.

Still, when my new one arrived, it was approximately a month before I gained enough confidence to actually put soap in and press the start button. Before that, I watched it. Carefully, cautiously, in case it suddenly struck out at me. But now all is well in my kitchen.

Well, except for the five bread machines sitting on my kitchen counter. Let me explain.

I’m part of a worship committee at church. I joined because they told me that they wanted me to write plays and brainstorm. I was excited.

“I’m full of great ideas…right lov? I asked brightly.

“Oh, you’re definitely full of it…” he replied.

So now we go, bi-weekly. We sit in a room and come up with great ideas. Then the other adults on the committee restrain us.

I am pretty happy with this. Except, sometimes work is involved. My strategy is to come up with a great idea that my husband can implement. Something computer-related, or video related – anything I obviously can’t be expected to do. It’s even better if I end up with a small public role, such as saying a single line a play that mostly relies on computer imagery. Everyone comes up and tells me what a great job I did. Since it’s rude to argue with a compliment, I just say “Thank you.”

At the last meeting, the sermon topic discussed was the miracle of the loaves and fishes. Someone, (I swear it was my husband) suggested that we illustrate this parable by putting bread machines all over the church. Gradually the odor of fresh bread would spread though-out the sanctuary, cumulating during the sermon. Afterwards, we could serve it at coffee hour.

This time, oddly enough, none of the adults in the room hit the brakes. They all really liked the idea.

“Wow. Smell-a-vision! A scratch and sniff sermon!”

I got into it too.

“Plus maybe we could open a few cans of sardines …you know, for the fish thing…”

There was a long silence, finally broken by the pastor.

“Ummm….maybe we should just stick to bread. But, Carol Ane” he added more cheerfully “Could you ask the knitting group, and see if any of them have bread machines to lend?”

Well, that sounded easy enough.

And it was. The miracle of the bread and fishes, some 2000 years ago, was followed by the modern miracle of the bread machines. I asked, and received. And now, here I am, standing in my own kitchen, staring down proudly at five bread-makers. Yes! I am ready. I can feed the crowd of 5000.

But my moment of triumph was short-lived.

“So,” my husband asked. “what are you going to do with them?”

“Me?” I replied, suddenly panicking. “Do with them? What do you mean, do with them?”

He had other questions.

“Do you know who the machines belong to Have you labeled them? Do you have the operating manuals? Do you have any bread recipes?”

“But…but…” I stammered. “I got them. I don’t cook. I don’t operate heavy machinery. Aren’t you guys born pre-programmed with all the directions for all the machines that ever existed?” I asked plaintively. “Isn’t that your job?”

He was unmoved or worse…amused.

“Don’t you think you should try the machines out at home before you try to set them up at the church?”

“You mean… actually touch them?”

The knitting group had even more questions.

“Where are you going to plug them in? Are they going to make noise during the service? Is there any chance that they will cause the church electrical circuits to blow? And plunge the church into eternal darkness? Shouldn’t you do a test run?”

“A test run?” I gasped. “I have to test it?”

So now I’m staring woefully at five bread machines. I want to make sure that they don’t move; that they are not dangerous. I’m wondering why I ever told my knitting group about my plans for them. Should I try to escape and run off toward Florida before Sunday? Or should I add sardines to the bread mix and cover the whole fish thing?

I’ve realize that I am way, way out of my comfort zone.

“Breath…” my husband comments. “This will either work or not work. And if it doesn’t so what?”

Staying in your comfort zone narrows your world. Leaving is hard and it takes faith, or prodding…or in this case, both. But I’ve realized, somewhat wryly, I am thankful for it. I want the seeds that are being held out for me, if I just have the faith and courage to land. And perhaps that’s been the true miracle of the bread machines.

(Note: one bread machine failed to start on time and the bread wouldn’t come out of another, but all the rest was eaten very quickly when it was served.)

3 comments to Miracle of the Bread Machines

  • Gail

    beautiful website and delightful columns! congrats! Love, Gail

  • Ryan

    Congrats on making it through the whole ordeal, Although i think more testing should have gone on as i only sampled one type of bread.

  • Deb

    I really enjoyed this tale, and totally agree with the sentiment behind it about getting out of your comfort zone. But that aside, I just think the whole idea of a ‘scratch and sniff’ sermon is wonderful. So glad it went well for you!

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