Sunday, February 18, 2007

Moral dilemma #37

Had I known that toting fresh bread around town would make me a hero, I may have started selling bread when I was 15. I was not aware how bread invokes such deep responses in people. At the storefront today, a woman asked, since we had good bread and played Van Morrison CD’s, could she just move in and live here? I said there might be room for a cot in the corner. But on today’s delivery, how’s this for a moral dilemma. He was fortysomething, with classic male-patterned baldness, plus a little doughy. The frumpy sweats with street socks did not help the man’s appearance. What I’m trying to say is, he did not look like a Casanova. He approached me with a smile on his face as I placed my 25 baguettes into the store’s display basket at the end of the aisle. Leaning a little too far into my personal space, he whispered, “I used your bread to wine and dine a woman last night and it helped me score. Best damn four bucks I’ve ever spent.” And he walked away. Ah, the power of bread. What should one do with that revelation? Do I feel bad that the man used our bread to commit an act of fornication? Or do I use that story to sell more bread by proclaiming its aphrodisiacal powers? Do I stop selling bread because it led a man and woman to “sin?” The Apostle Paul did refer to food causing my brother to stumble. But if the man was not a person of faith, am I off the hook? This is the danger of any thing of beauty. It’s easier to follow a rule or do without it than to give folks a freedom to choose as they will. And it didn’t stop Jesus from turning water into wine (his first miracle.) I would guess he trusted the good folks at the wedding party wouldn’t get drunk on the wine Jesus created out of water. Why do I have a hard time believing that?

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