I could not believe my eyes. The dinner plate that was being pushed into the tray slot was not the average prison dinner. The 4×4-Animal-style-with-Cheese In ‘n Out Burger screamed that this was not a typical dinner.
The paper plate struggled to lie flat under all the weight of the oh-so-juicy burger, but didn’t succeed. The Peanut M&Ms began to roll off the designated dessert square. Under the burger lay a heap of my favorite Carl’s Jr. criss-cross fries. I wasn’t sure how I was selected to receive this wonderful, artery-clogging, delicious surprise. But I didn’t care; it was mine and I was going to enjoy every single bite of it.
I took one last look at it, then I picked it up with two hands and folded it into my mouth. As I bit down, my teeth sinking easily into the tender burger, a sharp pain jolted me! It was my arm in my mouth!
It was all a dream.
A former cellmate of mine told me once that if dreaming about food was a sin, I would be the worst sinner of all. I dream about food almost weekly. In my dreams, I’ve eaten all sorts of delicious foods. I’m definitely a big foodie in my dreams, yet I always stay slim and in great shape (but not in reality.)
There is no need, however, to try to interpret dreams for I know exactly what they mean. They mean I crave all the delicious foods I don’t get in prison, especially here in Ad Seg (the Hole.) Our prison meals are based on trainloads of carbs. Potatoes, cornbread, and lots and lots of bread form the bottom of the prison’s meal pyramid.
We receive eight slices of bread daily. After 18 years behind prison walls, I’m no longer a fan of sliced bread. It’s just not good; it’s tasteless; it’s bland; it’s dry; it’s just not what I want.
I want flavor. I want spices. I want texture. I want meat that drips juices. I want cowboy beans with hot chunky tomato salsa on top. (I need to stop this reverie; my mouth just won’t stop watering.)
While in prison, however, I will get a lot of bread. Why? Because it’s filling, plentiful, and all we need. Bread is simple, basic and essential. For many around the world, bread is truly “the staff of life.” They may get little else.
The Word of God tells us that Jesus is the Bread of Life. He’s all we need. He provides us with all we need for our soul’s and spirit’s growth and strength. Yet we tire of it so quickly. We begin to seek the latest and greatest book, which will tell us the quick way to grow in Christ. We try to find ways to spice up our faith with the current movement. We try to flavor our walk with whatever ministry has gone viral. We reach out to feel the texture of the latest television preacher.
As we work on becoming foodies in our Christian lives, we leave out the Bread of Life; and, in the end, even though our life is filled with “Christian this” and “ministry that” we still end up hungry for more. Hungry for purity. Hungry for Bread that only the Word of God can provide.
Even though it’s not popular to say it, all we need is the Bread of Life, Yeshua the Messiah. He is our full-meal, nutrition pyramid. Our spiritual lives will be full with all we need from Him. No fancy-caviar book or trending pastor will ever get close to what the true Bread of Life will give us.
Stop chasing empty calories, and get back to God’s dinner table, which holds the Bread of Life.
What’s on your plate?
……..craving barbecued ribs……..
Adrian G. Torres