The secret, he once told me, was the oven used to bake the bread. It took a wood-burning stone oven, like the one at his local bakery, to reach the temperature needed to lock in the moisture yet not burn the crust. He’d go in the morning and buy several loaves. If I was really fortunate, we’d be there when he brought them home still warm from baking, the smell permeating the house as soon as he stepped in the door.
To get evenly spaced slices from an oblong loaf of French bread, cut it with a knife but if size doesn’t matter just take it in your hands and snap off a piece. You’ll know it’s fresh when you hear the crunch of the crust breaking. It’s paper thin and crispy. When it does, your nose is treated to a burst of sweet aroma that makes your mouth water. The inside is fluffy white and nearly melts in your mouth. Pawpaw often teased me that all I ever ate was bread. But why fill up on something less, when the best was an option? Of course, I’d eat other things too; meat, dressing and always dessert but they were all lagniappe, something extra. For me the best and most important part was the bread.
As delicious as French bread is, there is bread even more fulfilling. It’s readily available with no need to wait for a bakery to open. Provided freely to all by our heavenly Father, it is the Bread of life. Yet so often we reach for other things to fill us instead- family, careers, accomplishments, hobbies, and even belongings. These may be good but they all leave us hungry again, wanting more. Why attempt to fill up on anything less when the best is offered freely? Partake of His bread first, then all else will be lagniappe. Won't you come to the table and eat?
Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. John 6:35