Bil Browning

The Bread Heel Parable

Filed By Bil Browning | August 20, 2012 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: married couple, Presbyterian parable, showing love

bigstock-Bread-24048434.jpgFor some reason the first parable I really understood has stuck with me throughout my life. I was probably 7 or 8 when the minister told the short tale from the pulpit.

Jerame and I were making French bread pizzas the other day and it reminded me of the story. I must have smiled while thinking about it or something because Jerame asked me what I was thinking about. I told him and shortly Jerame was asking me to tell it to him.

The parable starts like this:

An old man and old woman have been married for forty years.They love each other in every way. The years have been kind to them and between them there is only one hidden resentment.

The rest is after the break.

For their entire marriage, the man had always given his wife the heel of every bread loaf. Whether it was a sandwich, garlic bread, or just bread fresh from the oven, she always got the heel.

"Why can't I ever have the soft middle of the bread?" she'd stew. "Why does he always keep the best part for himself?"

After 40 years, one day she couldn't stand it any more. As he served her a sandwich made from store-bought bread, there was the heel as the top of her sandwich.

"Why do you always do this?" she cried. "I hate the heel. I like the soft part! I've only eaten it all these years to make you happy. Why can't you ever take the heel to show you love me?!"

"I've always given it to you," the man said softly, "because it's my favorite part."

Story complete, I looked at Jerame expecting him to be looking thoughtful, perhaps even dewy eyed from the sweet little tale. Surely he'd be ready to embrace and tell me he'd always give me the heel or take the heel or whichever choice my fevered imagination was currently considering.

Instead, he cocked his head to the side, looked at me with a deep stare and in his practical manner said, "You're an odd little man. All that from some frozen French bread pizza? There's two pieces in each box. They're both heels."

(Bread clipart via Bigstock)

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