Bread Crumbs

by Dawn W

We’ve been telling the story of Hansel and Gretel in one form or another for hundreds of years. When the Brothers Grimm first published the story in 1812, there’s no way they could have understood how pervasive one tiny point of their story would be.

Bread crumbs.

Everyone knows about bread crumbs. Tech support uses the virtual bread crumbs a virus leaves to trace the source and fix the problem. Kids use bread crumbs to find their way back to the things they hide in the back of the closet or under the bed. Bread crumbs in whatever form are used to lead us back to the place we started or the things we lost.

Bread crumbs.

Literal bread crumbs get everywhere. Every. Where. The better the bread (crusty and delicious), the more the crumbs. They get on the table, on the plate, on your lap, on the floor. Seriously. I have a special talent for getting bread crumbs everywhere.

Today at work, my department all ate lunch together. It was unplanned and completely hodgepodge. I had picked up a baguette at the store to go with my salad and everyone was really excited to see those delicious carbs. Before long, everyone had taken a piece of bread for themselves. We laughed and talked and shared bread. In its purest form, we had communion. The bread crumbs all over the office lead to my desk, where people knew they could tell stories or help themselves to seconds.

Every Sunday, I kneel at the altar and open my hands to accept the gift of the Body. At St. B’s, we don’t use loaves of bread. We use wafers. Wafers don’t leave physical crumbs. What they do leave, however, is a reminder. A mark. The crumbs that lead me back to the table week after week. A mark that reminds me I have been accepted as a member of the body. A memorial of my redemption.

In short, the crumbs of the Eucharist lead me to Christ.

But what about the crumbs the Eucharist leaves on me? Do others see those? Am I surrounding myself with crumbs that lead back to me or to the table?

Where do your crumbs lead?