This week in the Faith & Healing series, I want to talk about breaking bread. On the surface, most of us who attend christian churches will recognize the phrase as a reference to the practice of holy communion, where the body and blood of Christ is shared with members of the congregation as a sign of Jesus’ covenant with us for the forgiveness of sins. Yet the phrase breaking bread can and does mean much more.
Breaking bread, for me at least, means opening up to another person. It means sharing yourself with that person, as Jesus shared Himself with His disciples. And during communion this morning, that was something that was very much on my mind.
It was on my mind because opening up is something that has been so incredibly hard for me. Even with close friends or family, I find that opening up is something that inevitably floods my body with anxiety, as I imagine all the ways I could be hurt by allowing myself to open up. Literally, I will wait with baited breath to see how the person I am talking to reacts to my opening up, always expecting the worst.
Yet I don’t know why I tend to expect the worst. While some people have hurt me deeply, most people I have opened up to have been there and become important parts of my support network. And I am thinking about this is in regards to breaking bread because church was one of the first places that I started feeling comfortable and accepted. It was one of the first places where my healing started. And if I can place my faith in the breaking of bread that happens at church, there is no reason why I can’t also place my faith in breaking bread with others, growing in my faith, growing in my mental health recovery, and connecting with others in necessary ways.
And if this is something you struggle with as well, know that you can find the strength to break bread with others too. I know it is scary, but the reward can be oh so filling.
Thanks for reading, be well.