Gluten Free Bread of Life

Allergy friends.jpg

Some of my favorite people to eat Bread with.

What’s with all this gluten free business? How is it that all of sudden people are allergic to gluten? Are factories taking a cheaper route on how they process food to cause this gluten intolerance epidemic? Is it the next cool thing to be gluten intolerant? I don’t even know what gluten is, but I know it’s in waffles. What would the kids and I do without our peanut butter waffles every morning? Eggs? Too much work. I checked out the gluten free section at the grocery store today. Holy smokes! My wallet thanked Jesus for not making my body gluten intolerant. If you ever go into the food biz make sure to label it “gluten free” because then you can charge twice as much.

As a baby my nephew Jon tested slightly positive for a peanut butter allergy. He could never have peanut butter waffles. How tragic! My brother Dustin (Jon’s dad) and I grew up on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. With the thought of his son never tasting a PB&J he wanted to take his son to the doctor’s office and feed him a peanut to see what would happen. My beloved, protective sister(-in-law) Rachel would not hear of it. On a trip to visit my brother and his family my parents and I packed snacks for the 14 hour car ride. Among the snacks was peanut butter. When we arrived to their house we hid the jar of contraband. A life without peanut butter unimaginable until my sister introduced me to Sun butter; it’s a butter made out of sunflower seeds. Delicious! Since then God has looked down kindly upon Jon and he some how outgrew his peanut butter allergy. God is good! I will have to bring him a peanut butter waffle next time I see him.

I have an allergy. Well, it’s more of a “sensitivity” than an allergy. It’s rather complicated. I can eat certain brands and types of dairy but not others. Trying different dairy products is like an 8th grade science experiment. Sometimes I get an A with no complications. Other times the volcano backs up and everyone within a 6ft radius runs for cover from the toxic volcanic fumes. For my bridal shower my mother-in-law risked everyone’s life by making the most delicious French toast casserole. I didn’t know it had cream cheese in it. I don’t think she wanted me to marry her son because she just about killed me. Good thing I’ve won her over since then with my good-looks, charm and good looking grand-babies. Although, after baby #3 she brought me over that French toast casserole again… maybe she doesn’t want anymore grand-babies?

I joke, but having an allergy can be quite a nuisance. You feel like you’re missing out on what other people are enjoying, and they’re taking it for granted! My dear friend Myranda is one of the petite-est but biggest hearted people I know. I think she’s so petite because she is one those gluten free people. I wouldn’t know what to eat either if I had to eat gluten free. Myranda’s allergy to gluten has caused her much grief. Before her diagnosis she didn’t understand why she kept getting sick. Something about how her body metabolized gluten caused her heart rate to speed up causing her to have panic attacks. The doctor’s just blew off her symptoms as anxiety. Who knew gluten could be so serious?

God laid it on my heart to encourage my dear-gluten-free-sister-in-Christ. I’m not bragging about what a good friend I am, because honestly I’m still learning how to be a friend, but I asked God how I could bless her. I felt like He wanted me to make her a gift basket of gluten free goodies. A “gift basket” sounded so old-casserole-church-lady-ish, but I rolled with it.  I attached a note that read , “The Bread of Life is Gluten Free. Eat Up Sister!”

Like a peanut allergy or a lactose or gluten intolerance I’ve noticed some people act like they’re allergic to Jesus. With just a little taste, if somebody says His name “Jesus Christ” their skin crawls and their stomach churns. Perhaps it’s because their soul knows that someday “that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” Philippians 2:10-11. Either they believe and feel threatened or they think it’s complete nonsense and are just annoyed. My dearest friend Becky has a gift of sharing Jesus without being offensive. It’s like she holds a tray of the most satisfying, all you can eat, peanut-butter free, lactose free, Jesus-filled slices of bread, and she wants to share with anyone who is willing to “taste and see that the Lord is good(Psalm 34:8). No one wants to be force fed even the best tasting bread but if you have it you should be willing to share. Make Bread of Life eating friends and then eat bread together.

“Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35

 “And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” Mark 16:15

“Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.” Matthew 10:32

Dear God, thank you for Your satisfying, hunger squealching, love. Help me to share Your word in a non-offensive loving way. Give me a hunger for You that only you can satisfy.

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