Give us this day our daily bread

These words from the Lord’s Prayer have gained a special poignancy to me over the last year. As commercially produced bread is increasingly adulterated with soya flour (often modified), it has been more and more difficult to find any wholesome options to buy. I started to make it myself, as a supplement to the bread available, but over the Christmas holiday we have only had the bread I have made.

I remember one of my favourite Sunday books as a very little child was called “Thank you for my loaf of bread”. The little boy thanks his parents, who say that they only bought it; he thanks the baker who only baked it; he thanks the farmer … and so on, until he thanks the Lord for his loaf of bread. The attitude of gratitude is certainly the right one. But at my season, now, I thank the Lord for the ability to rise at 6am to begin baking, the strength to make the bread, the ingredients to produce it, a working oven and that precious miracle of wild yeast rising flour into loaves and pittas and buns. But there is more to it. There is God’s blessing upon our labours so that the food we eat is blessed to us in the health it provides for our bodies.

Today’s bake

Today’s bake

My family are not sick but we are regularly at risk of being poisoned. Rapeseed is inedible and harmful; it is also in a vast number of products. Soya is joined by modified maize starch and cornflour in the realm of undigestible. If we conquer the problems of poor ingredients and make every meal from scratch (as we do), then we are poisoned by the electromagnetic smog in which we live. It is caused by Bluetooth in cars (parked or moving), Smart Meters, Wi-Fi networks and 4G, soon to be 5G. The side effects are widespread. I see it in people I meet and people I know. I have recognised the problem for 18 years; nursed family members for the last 9; and for the last 4 years tried to discover coping strategies to bring us back to health when we have been zapped by a transmitter. 

What all these problems have in common is that I have not yet met anybody who wants to know. They may have half of my symptoms from food or radiation, but they do not want to hear the reason. It goes beyond being a lover of technology or trusting in the doctors. They cannot countenance the dangerous paradigm in which you are living and therefore it must be you. If I say, “I am made ill by proximity to that device” for all the comprehension displayed I might as well say, “What colour unicorns have you planted in your garden this year?” 

Our trees are dying due to electromagnetic exposure. It’s nothing personal - our neighbours’ trees are dying too. All around my home estate, conifers facing vehicles and houses are developing entirely dead patches where a transmitter is beaming 24/7, 365 days of the year. It does not need to be an intensely strong field since the tree is rooted to the spot and cannot escape being tortured. The damage is irreversible as conifer trees absorb the EMF and give us a shield, but in so doing their health will suffer and they will ultimately die. Around other streets, you can identify the direction of the radiation from the pattern of split bark on the trunks of trees.

Our 85 foot conifer hedge is dying. It grew up with me. It has scorches from radiation and it is dying from the inside out, all the while still screening us from a road full of radiation. The patches of brown dead wood are less dramatic than in those of our neighbours because the flow of traffic is killing the whole hedge, not just the portion opposite a Smart Meter. Meanwhile, the Canadian Geese which used to leave our town every year about 20th September and not return until Spring are still flying in circles. At night they make desperate noises, as they must be running out of food in the cold English climate. A tomato plant in our garden was still producing fruit last month, for the circadian rhythm has been (and is still being) disturbed by the radiation in which we are bathed. 

When you have to cross the road to avoid the radiation pouring out of a Jaguar and you cannot go to a city without a day to recover from the Wi-Fi; when you cannot eat the bread off the shelf and even the old-fashioned Atora Suet is crossed off the list as another food that is not what it used to be; when you cannot accept an invitation out because you know that within an hour you will look an unattractive green hue, you are cured of any latent Pelagianism. There is no way you can believe in the fool’s paradise of a wonderful world in which most people are good and will do the right thing. It is a lie.

But it is for this lie that people will not listen. If they did believe what you say about food and the environment, then they would have to accept that people allow these things to happen, that the system is not designed with a pseudo-Providential benevolence and the State will not save us. They prefer to sign up for chemotherapy than even to take a quick look down that road. They would rather die in ignorance than have to live with the truth. 

Others are aware of the problems and take the other extreme of wanting to campaign and dedicate every moment of (your) time to raising awareness that such things are going on in the realm of food and the environment. It soon becomes “a cause” and you are asked to join hands with people for one reason, when you can think of twenty more why you would not want to be in the same room as them. Such activism is a grand distraction, which at heart invokes the same Pelagian myth that people are bigger than the problem and can sort out if only they will work together.

Hardly. I cannot save my trees from dying. I cannot help the geese find their way home. I cannot tell the tomato plant to rest for the winter. I cannot persuade someone I have known for 20 years that the reason they are ill is charging on their desk. And it is not my duty to save the human race. It is my duty before God to love and serve my family members according to my ability and under the sixth commandment that includes taking practical steps to preserve their lives as necessary, even as they strive to preserve mine.

The machinations of man, the rampant wickedness even, is permitted to continue for a season according to God’s mercy. Those who try to live righteously in an evil generation must face hardship. But the Lord’s hand is not withdrawn. His promises are poured on the heads of His children whether together they fill a city or only a room. There is God’s blessing in being aware of problems so that we can take better care of those we love. There is God’s blessing in having the means and time to do so. There is God’s blessing in receiving our daily bread and living in the heightened awareness that we are only still standing by his grace, that the lack of pain is by his grace, and that the courage to face another day like the one before is only by his grace.

The Psalmist says that unless the Lord bless the house they labour in vain that build it. Unless the Lord bless my bread, I labour in vain in making it. Give us this day our daily bread is a beggar with his hands cupped in assured expectation of what he will receive because he trusts in the lovingkindness and mercy of the God whom he implores. This is not the way modern Christians like to see themselves - empowered as they are, with God in the wings to applaud their every deed. But perhaps we need the chastening we are receiving, to find that simple things like bread cannot be taken for granted, to discover that the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer are not idle words but at the core of the walk of faith.