“Bread, so that this house may never know hunger. Salt, that life may always have flavor. . . Wine that joy and prosperity may reign forever.”
In the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, George and Mary Bailey offer the housewarming gifts of bread, salt, and wine to the Martini family. A large family, the Martinis are able to purchase their own home because of the friendly business dealings of George Bailey.
George is the reluctant head of a wobbly savings and loan and spends his days in a “shabby little office” thinking his life has had no value. Those who have been the recipients of George’s generosity know better. In the end, George comes to see the magnitude of his wonderful life.
As a single mother of five, I was frequently the recipient of bread that came from the generous hands of others. A few decades ago, we were on our own. Some of our days were lean. Some of them, even dreadful. But many of our memories from those days reflect the bread, salt, and wine of well-flavored life.
One Thanksgiving, a Sunday school class provided an entire feast. It came in a laundry basket. And I was grateful even for a new receptacle for dirty clothes.
And one year, a fellow churchgoer signed our family up for her company’s Christmas program. The employees provided my children with age and gender appropriate gifts and even remembered me with a set of pink-flowered flannel PJ’s.
Sometimes, we would find a box of food sitting on the front porch.
But it wasn’t just that they gave us food. They gave us the opportunity to sit together and enjoy bounty. There was joy in knowing others cared. There was joy in enjoying each other and the blessings we had.
The Great Provider gave us our very own George Baileys who helped make our lives richer.
After I remarried, life was more financially secure. I am no longer a recipient of the generosity of others. I can, on occasion, be a giver too. I can be a George Bailey to someone and offer them bread, flavor, and joy.
When we give someone bread, we feed the hungry. As we do that, our own lives gain flavor. We receive joy too.
“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased,” Heb 13:16.