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When you are out of peanut butter, you are out of food!

When I am about to celebrate my 100th birthday, and folks ask my secret of longevity, that's what I am going to tell them. It is a proposition I have defended passionately since as far back as I can remember. When I am feeling down, when I've been sick, when I just want a snack, when I'm having lunch by myself, I'll have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on white bread (Mrs. Baird's no doubt!).

"The peanuts and grain and fruit are a complete meal," I argue. But all I get are those "there goes dad again" indulgent looks as my family walk off to be busy with something else. I've heard people use the phrase "comfort food," and I guess that's what a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is for me. If I had to survive the rest of my life on one thing, that would be it.

In English, the word "bread," in some contexts, is synonymous with food. In many East Asian dialects, the word for "rice" and the word for "food" are the same. For a newborn child, it would be mother's milk. It's whatever the bottom line is. It's the basic thing you need to stay alive. However, all those words -- bread, rice, milk -- can also refer to the emotional and spiritual basics that keep us alive. There are a few people without whose love I would find it hard, perhaps impossible, to live. And without a faith that gets fed and watered regularly, I'd dry up and blow away.

Bread is the biblical metaphor, simply because that was the staple, basic, bottom‐line food of Biblical time. It is no wonder that bread became the staple for the sacraments. As for me, if I knew a time in which I would have my last communion, I would like the "bread" to be a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. And the wine? Well, how about a good, Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir normally gives me a terrible headache, (and I might add that I do not drink) but hey! Life is short!

Religion on 11/22/2017

Print Headline: Comfort food fills more than physical need

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