Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Little Red Hen Wanted Bread

So, the Little Red Hen is famous for making bread. That's what she liked. Perhaps that is what made her comfortable. After all, there is nothing like the smell of freshly baked bread- the cozy warmth of the oven, the golden glow of the crust, the steam that escapes as you cut that first slice even though you know you should let the bread cool a little before you thrill yourself with pillowy, densely tender goodness.

But the thing is, Little Red Hen is famous not just for baking bread. She's famous because she got to eat it "all by herself," and I supposed the intended moral of the story is that hard work and industry pay off. Plus, famous for eating! A few years ago that could have been a joke, but think about it. We have entire stations on TV for food, commercials for food, blogs for food, pictures of food lust! But still, she ate it ALL by herself? See, that is not a reward! That is called compensating for some imbalance, most likely emotional, in life with food. They have after-school specials about that kind of stuff!

Here's the thing: bread is meant for sharing. It is designed that way. I'm not sure there is a recipe out there that makes a single serving of bread. A single serving of bread is called a "slice," and you can only get a slice of anything from a larger portion of something. And while it is true that one person could eat an entire warm, crusty loaf by herself, slice by slice, dousing each thick slab with creamy butter, I can guarantee she won't feel happy about it when she is done.

Frankly, if you love something enough to to go the trouble of tending, growing, weeding, grinding, and baking, deep down there has got to be a real desire to share it, if for no other reason than to see someone else love what you love too. There is real satisfaction in sharing something that requires so much of your time, talents and everything the Lord has blessed you with. We all have, especially women, an innate desire to create, and because creation is so personal, we can feel so vulnerable when we do create. What if someone doesn't like what we've made? I mean, we assume that the Little Red Hen ate the bread all by herself because she deserved it, but what if she was just afraid that after all that work, no one would like the bread? What if she was nervous she had forgotten the salt and would rather not share than to have someone else discover her mistake? Maybe she thought it wasn't pretty enough to share so she decided to just keep the bread and try again later. I've never done that before.

Little Red lesson I've learned for today: Bake the bread and share the slices.