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Taking the napkin off the Banana Bread – and the reality of the real “Us.”

Do you believe in Me, even after what you see?

Blessed are you they who are not offended in Me.
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It’s been so long since writing here on the blog – I hope it doesn’t come over as too shocking. :-) Many of you know the wind of change that blew through here last summer; from buying a campground to selling a couple homes and possessions. Needless to say it’s been quite an upheaval! Through it all I have ached to be back here in the Song – a place that I delighted in.  I was even beginning to think of myself as a “writer,” as if that label even matters. :-/ Along with that I had developed, after 46 years of age another identity – that of being single. Happily single. Shucks let’s say it, even a champion of singlehood!

Well I’m writing to say that is not my identity. And that’s not just because I am recently “married” – joined by at least one definition that I’m persuaded to be accurate. Although I do have to admit that becoming such in the flesh has challenged how I see myself. Who am I truly? Is “married” a label that defines me in Christ’s Kingdom? Is there a way of seeing myself, my “husband,” and others that breaks down walls – not builds them up? God help us … we don’t need more division.

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imageOne Bread – One Messy Bread

Recently I was visiting a new “sister-in-law” (only in the sense that love makes us sisters), and she is an awesome lady. She is an award winning pastry chef and teacher at a world famous cooking school. Soon after settling into her house she casually took a napkin off a tray to show a banana-blueberry bread she made for us. It was quite a surprise! There was no “form” that we should desire this bread. It wasn’t like anything I had ever seen before. And this professional pastry chef didn’t even seem to be embarrassed!

“I think I added too much sugar,” she said with a laugh.

Instantly I received an inward jolt. This woman’s true identity was obviously more real than any job, label, or position here on earth which is passing away. Even her ability as a chef did not need to be proved by anyone to be true. And yet when she pulled off the cover to reveal this “experiment” (or flop, depending on one’s perspective), without even knowing it I was invited to believe in her – believe that she really was a good chef regardless of what surprising or offensive impression that was made to me at first.

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Enjoy Each Other In Faith

Have you noticed that expectations of the way things “should be” get in the way of truly delighting in people and having hope and positive feelings for them? Banana bread usually looks a certain way, but does it have to? We noted that evening that this strange new bread was impossible to slice up and divide into neat pieces. As for us we just gathered around it with forks and fingers and picked at until it was devoured. And you know what? It was out-of-this-world delicious!

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A Place That is Unoffendable

It struck me recently what it meant that people were dissapointed in Jesus. They saw faults in him. They had expectations. They heard all sorts of accusations about a shady past, evil motives, and perhaps even about sexual immorality. It had to have been challenging to the disciples to believe the best of Him regardless of what they heard or saw. How much is this true today for us, seeing He now dwells inside weak, human flesh? Will we ultimatey leave Him, or will we taste of Him and see that there is indeed life – and embrace this life no matter what??
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The Real Us is Him

It’s not easy to embrace this reality in joy, so I need help in remembering it. Heaven-born identity is something far more real and tangible than physical gender, marriage position, differences, or even failures, real or perceived. We desperately need to maintain the vision of one another *in Him* no matter what the enemy throws up in our eyes here on earth. To believe the best in you and me is to believe in Christ. There is no difference.

In Love,
Pam

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12 comments

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  1. oikoskrk

    Thank you Pam for putting into words exactly how I feel. BEING in Christ is so much better than performance based religion. HE accepts me as I am because HE made me this way and totally understands my heart in so many ways I cannot even begin to put into mere words. HIS Love is the answer.

    Love,

    Christopher

    1. Pamela

      Tradition, human weakness and personalities, social status, gender…the list goes on as to how judgement is typically made among humans. Divine love looks at the heart, and I’m glad that I got to see yours as I did, Christopher. It is shining!

  2. Susanne Schuberth (Germany)

    What a delightful article, Pam! :-) You asked so appropriately,

    “Have you noticed that expectations of the way things “should be” get in the way of truly delighting in people and having hope and positive feelings for them?”

    Amen to that!

    “To believe the best in you and me is to believe in Christ. There is no difference.”

    Amen, again. The way people usually take the measure of one another is to look at gender, age, status, appearance, married – or not, children – or not, prospering – or not…. However, the One who is the owner of the universe, so to say, left all his riches behind and made himself a slave for mankind in order to save it out of mere LOVE for them (Jn 3:16). That would be no offense to anyone unless we see that His kind of deliverance is so different from what we might have expected. Perhaps we thought He would change our circumstances as many people in His time on earth had hoped for. In fact, they wanted a king who saved them from the cruelty of the Roman Empire. Alas, that was not God’s plan…

    As for me, I remember several times during the last two decades when I really wanted to leave Him because His plan and mine rarely go together. ;-) If I had to rely on MY love for Him, I could easily forget being a Christian – forever. Nonetheless, I am glad that it is His power that puts me through all my struggles and removes all logs in my spiritual eyes that have kept me blind to recognize Him and everyone else in Him as well.

    Thanks so much for this thought-provoking post, dear sister. Please, keep on writing! It’s been a joy to visit your site!!

    Love <3
    Susanne from Bavaria

    1. Pamela

      :-) !! I wrote the response above to Christopher before reading your beautiful ECHO (with thoughtful nuances and tones that are unique to you). THANK YOU! I too am glad that He helps me persevere when things don’t happen according to my expectations (which I shouldn’t have to begin with).

      Thank you again Susanne for joining the conversation here. Your response warmed my heart very much.

  3. Anonymous

    Thanks Pam for sharing such “Tasty Sweet Bread.” So beautifully and clearly expressed…and resonates as truth to my heart. We see Christ living in you, when we see you. We so enjoyed our time with you and Vinnie last week. : )

    Love!
    Dave and Ana

    1. Pamela

      Truly, relationships deteriorate (i.e. perish) without this vision of each other. I can’t tell you how much our short visit meant to both of us.

  4. Jamal Jivanjee (@JamalJivanjee)

    Pamela,

    This is truly beautiful and very liberating in many ways. Thank you for writing!

    1. Pamela

      Thanks Jamal. Love you.

  5. Vinny

    Ahhhh You are back and with a bang ! What a good timely word. I am encouraged and can’t wait to hear more. But as I said Timely….In Gods perfect time and he is sooooooooow good ! ;-)

    1. Pamela

      We walk and live in His goodness every day, you and I. :-) And I am SO thankful for the gift He gave me in you. <3

  6. Darcey

    Such beautiful insight! Thank you for the gift of this story.

  7. Pamela

    Is this the wonderful woman I think it is?? Then I owe YOU a thank you!! ;-)

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