I could hardly believe my eyes : a real, live breadfruit in my local, generic, suburban, South-Eastern American supermarket. Approaching the stand, with my mouth caught agape somewhere between a crazy grin of delightful recognition and amazement, I picked up the familiar cantaloupe-like, green, rough-skinned fruit from my homeland- a Jamaican breadfruit.
As muscle memory took over, I checked for optimum texture, weight and absence of blemishes, then making my pick, went giddily to the cashier, holding myself back from proclaiming my special find to the entire store. I was all benevolence and compassion as the elderly Southern cashier struggled with her register & charts, hunting for code and key and finally, manager, to identify my odd selection from the ethnic foods department.
Back in my car, I sat the visitor from home on the seat beside me, and proceeding on to my place of part-time employ, suddenly realized that a bridge moment was in full construct. My morning’s devotional meditation in John 6, fueled by having shared in Communion at church the night before, had left me full of gratitude for Him who is declared to be the Living Bread. I had journaled on His role as Sustainer, Restorer, and Life-giver, and had waxed lyrical in agreement with the Gospel writers and Paul, that my substance was in Him and to do His will my meat & my drink. ‘In Him I live and move and have my being’ I sang, as I drove down the road… then the word-play struck me – Living bread / breadfruit!
The breadfruit was a round ‘bread loaf’ ( once roasted!) that had grown on a tree, a live bread! Living bread! Jesus, the Incorruptible Seed, sown in earth’s sin-soaked soil, grown in wisdom and stature and favour with God and man.Then, in the fullness of time, was plucked and offered on a ‘tree’ of Calvary, for the redemption of our lives! How I remember my grandfather standing beneath and peering up between the branches of the breadfruit trees in our backyard, looking for fruit, full and ready to be ‘plucked’ for a family meal. I teared up as I recognized this custom-designed meditational gift from my Heavenly Father. He who watched over His Beloved Son’s sojourn on earth, looking to the Day when this One, offered and received, would bring many more sons to glory. My Jamaican ethnicity had again found a wonderful nexus in the presentation of Scriptural truth. Truly, the Divine Counsellor wastes nothing. Not a crumb.
Later that evening as I joyfully peeled, sliced and offered the roasted fruit to my family I prayed for grace to grasp and similarly respond to the Father’ s offering of the Living Bread to me, daily.