Written on December 2, 2014. By Shari Norvell
Day 2 – December 2
There are so many facets of God’s heart. So many ways He touches us and invites us to touch others. The expressions of who He is number as great as the stars. Yet there is one that threads through them all and weaves them together. Creating. To create is quite a mighty thing, and still, one that He has given us the pleasure to be part of.
As this ruminated inside me, I thought about one of the most basic ways I create, making bread. For me, it is a simple thing that is full on sensory as every one of the senses is impacted in some way.
I love the feel of the grain as it slips through my fingers on the way into the mill, bumping and bouncing as it goes. And then there is the sound the consumes the kitchen as each kernel is put to death as resurrected into what it was intended to be. Oh, and the moment when the canister where the contents have collected is opened and I take in the fragrance of freshly ground flour and sneak my hands into the soft, warm powder watching as it covers my hands with the promise of what is to come.
Yet, as lovely as all of that is, my favorite part is what comes next. Well it came first. Okay, actually its both. Let me explain. For many years as part of making bread I have used a starter. A mixture of water, flour and yeast tucked away in a tupperware bowl. It seems to have a life of its own as it often grows, dislodging the lid and bursting its contents over the side until they spill onto the counter. I couldn’t even tell you how long its been since the starter was formed, just that it has never lost its potency. It changes everything! The taste, texture and even the smell of the bread is gloriously different when it is used. With each loaf of bread, a small portion makes its way out and into a whole. A completion of sorts. And then more grows.
Our starter, our beginning is much like this. Genesis 1:1-2 says:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.
If “in the beginning” means simply “at the start”, we had quite an origin. But it means so very much more. The context of the word in here is “within” or “connected”. The hebrew word for ‘the’ means “to”, so it is always leading us TO something. Two little letters and a giant word. What is our to? The beginning. But what is the beginning? The hebrew word means “first, best, first fruit, choice, choicest part”.
My translation is that we were taken from the best, from the first offering, from the most valuable part, from the choice itself. The choice to create love and entrust it to others. The choice to make “loaf after loaf” from one source, the best source possible. A source that never runs out or loses power. A source that always was and always will be.
As I type, a thought pierces me. He saved us for last, man I mean. I know there are many reasons for that, but today it is just one that stirs my heart. He wanted us to know, to never forget. You see, every part of creation came from the starter bowl in Pappa’s heart. Every tree, flower, bird, rippling current and gusty breeze was “started” by HIM. They are each a part of HIM.
In a most intimate act, Pappa kissed Adam. A brush of breath that stirred soil to receive seed and carry it to harvest. A watering of tears from a Father who knew He had to let go of the part of himself He had just given, entrusted to flesh, secured by spirit. What a moment. A moment we were kissed by as well. A moment we are kissed by everyday. For everyday, he draws us near and then releases us, entrusting us with an expression of himself for that day. Wow!