One morning this week I woke up hankering for German Bread.
I have a special love for hearty, healthy, heavy German Bread.
Here’s my story.
At Christmastime some years back, Jake ordered a simple Buck knife from Recreation Equipment, Inc (REI). With his order, his name went into a drawing and HE WON the big prize! A $10,000 REI European Adventure Trip for Two! What? US? Unbelievable!
Yes. It really happened.
We still get that ‘what? US? Unbelievable!’ happy feeling when we remember this story.
We booked the tickets, got our REI t-shirts and new luggage, made arrangements to leave our work and children, and when the day came, we flew from Cochabamba, Bolivia to Stuttgart, Germany for our week-long adventure.
It was THE perfect trip.
Walking 20-25 kilometers a day. Enjoying forests, birds, cows and their bells and their pastures, hillside views, geranium flower boxes, old country chapels, and quaint villages. Staying at a different family-owned hotel each night. Being alone with the best map-reader outdoor guide I know. (That would be Jake Wetzel.) And eating hunks of hearty, healthy, heavy German Bread. Every day. Morning. Noon. And Night . . . mmm, mmm, good.
Like I said, it was THE perfect trip.
Back in Bolivia, a year or two later, I was walking home on an unfamiliar side street when in a display window I saw a large dark loaf of baked something.
Now Bolivia has delicious bread; every day you can buy fresh rolls at any little corner store. This loaf was obviously not Bolivian. Could it be? I had to find out. Yes! It was hearty, healthy, heavy German Bread! I grinned all the way home, anxious to show Jake the treasure I’d found.
Fast forward some more years. We’d made a big move from South America to the capital city of Ethiopia in East Africa. A few days after we arrived, Jake and I were wandering around the city, and in a bakery connected with the classy old Hilton Hotel – I am not making this up – we found German Bread. Yes, German Bread in Africa! I still remember the lift I felt that day.
A few months ago I found a German Bread recipe online and after I’d rounded up the rye flour and sunflowers seeds and borrowed my daughter’s KitchenAid, I made some hearty, healthy, heavy German Bread. It took all day and it was a happy day.
In these days of gluten-free and lo-carb diets, I know it’s insensitive, unpopular – almost unpatriotic! – to love bread, but I do love German Bread. As you have probably realized by now, it’s because for me German Bread is not just bread.
German Bread is the symbol of that adventure trip: that over-the-top, amazing, generous gift we did nothing to earn or deserve.
German Bread represents God’s Love, that over-the-top, amazing, generous gift I can do nothing to earn or deserve.
‘What? US? Unbelievable! Sometimes it is hard to believe in God’s hearty, healthy, heavy Love.
German Bread reminds me that it is true.
What reminds you?