“I am the bread of life, Jesus told them” John 6:35 (HCSB)
Preparation of bread in Central Asia is filled with tradition, as I discovered during a bread-making lesson. I could hear my teacher instruct emphatically, “Don’t leave any dough sticking to the sides of the bowl. Never knead it roughly. Love your dough. When leaving it to rise, punch your fist into the middle of the dough, kiss your fist, and then touch your forehead as a prayer. Bread should never be dropped on the floor, turned upside down, or otherwise treated disrespectfully”.
Unfortunately, I can forget these cultural “rules”. Being friendly toward 5-year-old Bibimo while her mother was busy, I sat down to have tea and bread with her. I offered a chunk of bread to Bibimo, who politely refused. When I tore off a piece for myself, I clumsily dropped it on the floor.
Not realizing my cultural mistake, I smiled, but Bibimo gasped as she retrieved it and set it on the table, adjusting the bread right side up. Kissing her fingers, she reverently touched the bread, her brow furrowed in concern, worried that something bad would happen.
I thanked the Lord for not allowing anyone else to witness my cultural blunder. Still, my heart broke for this child with such ingrained fears etched into her mind. Freedom from fear is needed among the peoples of Central Asia, and only the Bread of life can offer it.
C. Lee- Central Asian Peoples.
Taken from Voices Of The Faithful