A Story of Gratitude for Simple Needs

A Story of Gratitude for Simple Needs

Here is a loaf of bread. Think, do you know how much it weighs? How many slices are there in a loaf of bread? How many jelly sandwiches can you make from one loaf? How many loaves of bread can you make from one bushel of wheat? How many loaves of bread do the bakers in America make each day? Then when you think of the farmer who raises the wheat grains that make the flour that make the bread that you eat for breakfast, how much does the farmer get paid as his share of the price for a loaf of bread? How daily is our daily bread? (You know, we pray, "Give us this day our daily bread.")

Each loaf of bread is supposed by law to weigh one pound and each loaf is supposed to have sixteen slices of bread. You can quickly see that each loaf would make you eight sandwiches.

The baker can make sixty-eight loaves of bread from a bushel of wheat, but all the bakers in America each day make about forty million loaves of bread. Wouldn't that make an enormous pile of bread if the loaves were all stacked up in a great pyramid? Just think how many slices of bread there would be, six billion, four hundred million, and the daily bread in America would make three billion, two hundred million sandwiches.

Think how many kinds of bread there are to help us enjoy eating our daily bread. There is white bread, enriched white bread with vitamins, whole-wheat bread, wheat bread, pumpernickel bread, rye bread, graham bread, cracked wheat bread, and then you know there are the long funny-shaped loaves of bread called French bread, and there is the bread with the hard crust called Italian bread.

Many boys and girls like raisin bread. Did you ever count how many raisins there are in a slice of raisin bread? Well, try it sometime. The baker cannot cheat you on the number of raisins he puts in each loaf. The United States loaf requirements are to put fifty pounds of raisins for every one hundred pounds of flour used to make bread. Raisin bread would not be much good, would it, if you only found two in a loaf? Then you would wonder if your sister got all the raisins or your older brother.

When you go to the store, you may pay eighteen or nineteen cents for a loaf of bread. Would you like to know how many people have to get some pay out of the eighteen or nineteen cents that you pay?

Well, the grocer takes two cents for having the loaf of bread ready for you to take home. The baker takes eleven cents for mixing the flour, baking the loaf, and putting it in cellophane. The big buildings where they store the grain known as elevators and the railroad trains that carry the flour to the baker take one cent for each loaf. The miller or the man who grinds the kernels of wheat grain into flour takes one cent out of each loaf, while the farmer gets just three and one half cents for all the trouble of plowing the land, sowing the seed, tilling the soil, reaping the grain and storing it in the barns.

But there is one thing that is free about the loaf of bread. It is the sunshine and the rain and the earth which together by God's goodness make the wheat grow from the seed, so that we truly can cay with Maltbie D. Babcock:

"Back of the loaf is the snowy flour,
Back of the flour the mill;
Back of the mill the wheat, the show'r,
The sun and our Father's will."

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