About six years ago, I developed a gluten allergy. Lawd, talk about disappointing. I have always loved bread. There may or may not be an urban legend about my cousin and I eating two loaves of buttered bread on a road trip from Chicago to South Dakota. I passed my love of bread down to my daughter. Strangely enough, my mother is not a fan of bread. Whose child am I again? LOL! At any rate, I was a lover of the brown bread at the Cheesecake Factory. I could eat a package of Hawaiian rolls prior to Thanksgiving Dinner. Those Red Lobster cheddar bay biscuits are unsafe around me. I made cornbread for a meal. And so, when I developed an allergy to gluten, I was devastated. Trust me, gluten free bread is not an equivalent substitute. I thought the diagnosis of being gluten intolerant was tough enough, but as I’ve shared over the last few months, I’ve been navigating something more challenging than gluten. I felt like the woman in the 15th chapter of Matthew, who was desperate for Jesus to heal her daughter. Beginning in verse 27, “But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered and said unto her, “O woman, great is your faith: be it unto you even as you will.” And her daughter was made whole from that very hour. I’ve heard this scripture for an inordinate amount of time, but always thought to myself, “If healing is the children’s bread, and I’m gluten intolerant, what happens next?” Even though the issue I’ve been experiencing was not gluten related, I’ve waited and waited for healing to manifest for what seems like no avail.
But what made this scripture significant is a simple five letter word. Faith. As a child, faith was easy. I had faith that when I went to my friend’s door and rang the bell, that her parents would allow her to come outside and play. I had faith that when I heard the ice cream truck afar off, that I could indeed run inside, up to our second floor apartment, ask my mom for some money, expect that she would have some, return down the stairs and make it just in time for my favorite delight not to sell out and before the truck drove away. I had faith that some of the best books would still be on the table, when my row was called in the auditorium for the book fair. Each of these aforementioned examples, required faith – when I didn’t even know what faith was. So why I ask, are we so skeptical, as adults, as believers, who’ve witnessed miracles, signs and wonders, answered prayers and endless moves of God? I would suggest because we’ve lost our childlike faith. When we complicate God, we complicate our faith. It was never intended to be difficult. Calvary was. Everything before Calvary, specifically the beginning in Eden and post Calvary, up to this very moment, while challenging, can be addressed, managed, victorious even, through faith. It is our gift from God to usher us through all that we encounter.
It was rough not feeling like myself. Going up a flight of stairs left me breathless. I haven’t been able to run in about four months. Getting through one dance at church has left me weak. As I went back and forth to the doctor, my faith began to waver. Church folk who knew proclaimed, “I pray that there is no evidence!” I didn’t agree with this prayer. I desired God to reveal the root cause of my illness. When it was determined that I needed a stress test and echocardiogram, I chose faith. I went to the space hopeful, prayerful even that God had said enough and that it was time to determine what was wrong and how to address it. I returned to that childlike faith. I enjoyed meeting the providers doing the exams. We discussed exercise, parenting and aging. I was surprised at how calm I was. I was able to minister to one of them. She responded, “It was so nice meeting you, albeit under the circumstances.” Even as we navigate difficulty, God expects us to represent Him.
It was not surprising to learn that there was no evidence of heart disease. Months of feeling terrible were determined to be a result of a potassium deficiency. Further, I learned that there is a correlation with lower potassium levels and high blood pressure for Black people. I started feeling bad following the high blood pressure incident I experienced. Also, after seeing a doctor of color, he and I discussed that symptoms present differently in people of color. All this to say, healing is indeed the children’s bread. We must purpose in our hearts and minds that we are entitled because of Christ. Gluten intolerant or not, the children’s bread belongs to me and you because we are indeed His children. He loves us. Oh how He loves….