The choice was cornbread as a cake or as muffins. Nancy was making me decide, and my usual, “whichever is easier”, was not helpful.
We agreed that muffins were preferable. The leftovers could be frozen, along with the leftover chili for another time.
If the measure had been “which has better memories,” we would have gone for muffins as well.
Ben had used the muffin pans as cymbals two days earlier. At 13 months, his ignorance of the intended purpose of objects is delightful. So is his walk. He bangs together two muffin pans, or two pan lids, or two balls, or two (empty) milk jugs as he walks stiff-legged.
Cornmeal muffins from a pan blessed with Ben’s drooling holy water are perfect. Because, as my mother would always said, “baby spit is pure.”
In the middle of a prayer Jesus suggested to the disciples (in addition, of course, to all the prayers he modeled for them), is a request for daily bread. We spiritualize that in an age of freezers for extra muffins and preservatives in sore-bought bread.
But Eugene Peterson suggested that the word Jesus used was, actually, for the kind of daily bread that a kid would take to an all-day preaching service. We found while visiting Germany that fresh bread was available everywhere.
Daily bread is ordinary provision of what we need to sustain life.
Often, of course, we want miracles. We want the spectacular. We want the big event. We want eclairs. And sometimes, that happens. But not daily. And, in truth, some days the simplicity is a stretch. In parts of the world as I write and you read, bread would be the miracle.
And so we pray for daily bread.
For a toddler, pans to bang together and his people to watch and laugh and love. For his grandparents, cornmeal muffins. And memories.