A beggar came and sat before me. “I want bread,” he said.
“How wise you are,” I assured him. “Bread is what you need. And you have
come to the right bakery.” So I pulled my cookbook down from my shelf and began to
tell him all I knew about bread.
I spoke of flour and wheat, of grain and barley. My knowledge impressed even
me as I cited the measurements and recipe. When I looked up, I was surprised to see he
wasn’t smiling. “I just want bread,” he said.
“How wise are you.” I applauded his choice. “Follow me, and I’ll show you our
bakery.” Down the hollowed halls I guided him, pausing to point out the rooms where
the dough is prepared and the ovens where the bread is baked.
“No one has such facilities. We have bread for every need. But here is the best
part,” I proclaimed as I pushed open two swinging doors. “This is our room of
inspiration.” I knew he was moved as we stepped into the auditorium full of stained-
The beggar didn’t speak. I understood his silence. With my arm around his
shoulder, I whispered, “It overwhelms me as well.” I then leaped to the podium and
struck my favorite pose behind the lectern. “People come from miles to hear me speak.
Once a week my workers gather and I read to them the recipe from the cookbook of life.”
By now the beggar had taken a seat on the front row. I knew what he wanted.
“Would you like to hear me?”
“No,” he said, “but I would like some bread.”
“How wise you are,” I replied. And I led him to the front door of the bakery.
“What I have to say next is very important,” I told him as we stood outside. “Up and
down this street you will find many bakeries. But take heed; they don’t serve the true
bread. I know of one who adds two spoons of salt rather than one. I know of another
whose oven is three degrees too hot. They may call it bread.” I warned, “but it’s not
according to the book.”
The beggar turned and began walking away. “Don’t you want bread?” I asked him.
He stopped, looked back at me, and struggled, “I guess I lost my appetite.”
I shook my head and returned to my office. “What a shame,” I said to myself.
“The world just isn’t hungry for true bread anymore.”
I don’t know what is more incredible: that God packages the bread of life in the
wrapper of a country carpenter or that he gives us the keys to the delivery truck. Both
moves seem pretty risky. The carpenter did his part, however. And who knows-we may
just learn to do ours