Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Baker's Wife by Erin Healy

I really enjoyed this book, the mystery element kept me reading and what made it even more compelling was God’s guiding hand in solving the mystery. Audrey is able to feel the weight of God’s arm on her shoulders guiding her to someone in her community who is in need in some way. She uses this gift to bring bread she and her husband have baked on his day off from being a pastor. She comforts and spends time with those who need that extra bit of attention, until an act occurs that costs her husband his job and her son his college acceptance. Then, they turn to running a bakery to earn their living. Baking bread and acting as a pastor turn out to have more parallels than one would think.

Baking bread involves taking the time to pay attention and having the patience to knead for long enough, allow it to rise for long enough, and bake for long enough. Too much or too little time in an area can ruin a loaf. So many times in life we are rushing around and not taking the time to appreciate the smaller moments, the things that seem inconsequential, but maybe all the steps involved are important for a reason and having patience would give us all a chance to see that. The lesson on bread baking comes from Estrella, a grandmother who has been working with bread for decades and has come to work with the couple because the place she worked for before wasn’t interested in the beauty of bread.

While being held hostage at the bakery, Audrey’s son Ed wonders if, “his own humiliation wasn’t divine at all, but merely a distraction from what he was supposed to be doing? What if all this, this insane ordeal, was not a consequence of his own sin but a chance for God to do something amazing, if only Ed would participate?” How much more would we all experience if we participated more? If we were less afraid to say what we think and step in when we see a situation where we could lend a hand?

While solving the mystery, I also thought about how some people would view Audrey as crazy. She believes fully that God is working through her and having her experience a part of the pain that a person is having so she knows who needs her help. She feels that it is God, but most of us would be looking for some other explanation as to why phantom pains were cropping up and looking for medical help for ourselves.

I read this book as part of a Litfuse Blog tour.

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