I let myself get beyond frustrated yesterday. On the eve of the Easter morning, my frustration lead to doubt. I was trying to make Easter bread. It is a Greek tradition, this brioche type bread. It is baked with deep red dyed Easter eggs in the wreath. It is a symbolic bread. The yeast makes the bread rise , just as Jesus will rise. The three eggs symbolize the Holy Trinity, three in one symbolized by the circular wreath. Their color symbolizes the blood of Christ. The bread is a braid of three ropes of dough, also calling to mind the Trinity.
Making this bread is a bit grandiose for me, as I am not a dedicated bread maker. The recipe calls for a whole stick of butter and 6 eggs, 9 cups of flour, the zest from a lemon and an orange. It must proof for an hour and then there is a double rise. My dough did not rise. It was 8PM, I was devastated. I felt like an utter failure. How hard could this be? Holy cow! I felt like all my efforts were pointless, just like the dough. And while being upset, upset my family, I felt like they didn’t really understand nor care about the bread. Frankly, me expecting them to be as invested in the process (or the meaning of the bread) is self-centered. But, all I could think was, “why bother”? The kids will probably more enthusiastic about Pop-tarts than home made bread, especially weird bread that looks different. So why bother? Who cares about the lamb I have had marinating since Holy Thursday, or the homemade hummus or the rest of the menu. It’s just the 4 of us. The kids won’t eat any of it. We will say, “eat your dinner” about 15,000 times before conceding that it is a lost cause. They would rather have macaroni and cheese.
So, the doubt dug in deep and set about pulling me apart. I had made the Lenten sacrifice of DOUBT. Not until this morning did I remember the Lenten promise I made and that the failed bread was used against me. The Enemy lays in wait. In the act of making a symbolic gesture to God, the Enemy stalked me. And I was slain. I ended up crying over this stupid bread, over a bowl of dead, unrisen bread. I wept. And then I decided to make it again. Now, this seemed both ridiculous (because it was now 9PM) and expensive. And if it didn’t rise again, I was going to be even more upset and I would have wasted a dozen eggs!
When I took the final bread out of the oven at 1 am, and the house smelled like a faint orange scent bread, I was happy. Fulfilled.
This morning is seems both absurd and profound. I was weeping for my own failure, but I was weeping over this bread. His bread. I wanted it to rise. I needed it to rise. And on Easter morning, we celebrate our Risen Lord. I ate two slice of freshly toast bread with my orange marmalade. Cameron tried the bread (scoffing at the sesame seeds) and admitted it was good….sweet.