Bread for the Body, Bread for the Soul

Elizabeth Anne Wickham of Spain submitted this entry to the LittWorld 2012 writing contest:

Aunt Ade was the only person who would trek to one of the few Bible bookstores in Madrid, pay a pretty penny for a book, and give it to me just because.

“Just because it’s blessed me. This book is what it’s all about.”

She would corner me at church, her black eyes glimmering, italics tripping over each other in her excitement.

“It’s the story of this pastor who was such a failure, but then…”

“These are the main spiritual principles…”

“Your eyes will be opened when you read it…”

Aunt Ade wasn’t my Sunday School teacher, the head of the women’s ministry or any recognized church figure. She wasn’t even my aunt. She was just Ade, 30 years my senior, a contagious Christian.

She didn’t pride herself in being a learned reader. Education, in fact, was not her forte; she would apologize about spelling and penmanship because her schooling had been brief. Yet she probably read more than some of the church’s leaders.

I met Ade when I was 12 and getting baptized along with her brother, just recently a Christian. He gently talked to her about God while she flicked a cigarette. Her dark brown sunglasses and red lipstick impressed me.

Weeks later, after decades of her mothers’ prayers, Aunt Ade was also captivated by Christ. From day one, she devoured every piece of Christian literature she could get her hands on.

Aunt Ade ran a bread store then. She would hand the baguette to the customer with one hand and slap a gospel tract onto the counter with the other hand.

“Bread for the body and bread for the soul,” she would grin at the startled patron.

Now I live far from Aunt Ade and miss precisely that: her gifts of bread for my soul, just because.

Learn how you can submit articles and win cash in the LittWorld 2012 writing contest, “Blogging for Global Impact.”