Recently, I woke up from a dream in which a woman kneading a loaf of bread and a musketeer were having a philosophical discussion regarding the existence of God. I’m reading the Three Musketeers, so that explains the man but not the bread. Anyway, What the woman is saying as I emerge from dreaming is “Some people are so intent on listening to their own reasoning they cannot hear the whispers of God all around them”. This struck me as nifty so even though it was only 5 AM I got up and scurried to my cluttered desk to write it down.
I think a lot about God these days, and faith versus wishful thinking. My inner baker insists that faith takes courage, while my swordsman declares that living without a reliance on a higher power is much more courageous. I lived most of my life without any particular belief except the vague notion that an angry judge in the sky was waiting for me to screw up. I fired this God over and over but he kept showing up for work whether I paid him to or not. I even tried changing the locks, but there he is, watching, waiting, devising clever tests and apt punishments.
I’m much more attracted to the God of the bread baking woman, who had two children by the way, and was arguing more for them then because she gave a rat’s whisker what the musketeer thought. As she handled the dough with thick, soft hands, I felt that her belief was akin to her faith that the bread would rise, as would the sun, the moon, the weeds and the wheat. Hers is a gentle God who provides what is necessary and reliably guides His children to achieve their full potential, be they a loaf or a flower or a mother or a cook.
My soldier believes that one must look out for oneself and not rely on invisible deities or the ranting of churches. He has a point. However, I’ve relied on myself, mostly, and things haven’t turned out all that well. You might say my loaf hasn’t risen, but I really don’t want to push the yeast metaphor. I can say that until I opened an honest dialogue with a higher power, I’d failed to rise at all. I just sat there, like a lump of lifeless dough.
It occurs to me that the woman, though she believes in a generous God, is still kneading the bread. She’s doing the work; not sitting around with arms crossed waiting for Jesus to show up with a van full of loaves and fishes and wine. My musketeer twirls his mustache and wonders why she gives God the credit.