Just this morning I received an email from a friend on one of our family islands, asking me whether I would be writing an article this week for the newspapers. I responded that I felt uninspired to do so at this time and that the dry weather might be at fault, drying up my thought process. Furthermore, my brain might need some rain moisture. Well, no rain has fallen so far this morning, yet here I am penning this.
You are probably familiar with the phrase “Not on bread alone does one live.” Now to my way of thinking that is based on Jesus’ words in Matthew’s Gospel, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” The phrase, “Not on bread alone” is a rather common expression meaning that we humans need more than material things to really live. However, it is sometimes used to justify a need for luxuries beyond the simple ordinary things like bread. Depending on where one is coming from, one may consider this normal or may feel it is crummy.
Here in Kalaupapa, many of us have become much more appreciative of bread since Love’s Bakery shut down a number of months ago. Our store, run by the Board of Health, has not had any bread available on the shelves for us for three months-plus. Recently, someone suggested to me that I do a “Damien” and protest to the Board of Health. Now I guess I could have marched on City Hall, clad in a traditional Hawaiian warrior’s garb (loin cloth), complete with the compulsory mask. However, I figured that our good Bishop Larry would have frowned on that. So instead, I wrote a letter to the Board of health doctor and asked Meli to read it at a recent zoom meeting. I requested that the Board of Health do something about this situation and in effect — to stop loafing.
Meanwhile, our good Sister of the Sacred Hearts, Sister Dolores, and Secular Branch member, Laura, began shipping me some English Muffins. (Though I’m Irish, I do give the English a lot of credit, now and then.) Getting back to the “Not on bread alone” theme, we do have lots of other foods in our store including Spam, baked beans and tuna fish. For this we thank the Lord. None of us are actually wasting away. At the same time, as Meli says, “It is rather difficult to make a sandwich without bread.” So, bring it on. Aloha.
Anchor columnist, Father Killilea is pastor of St. Francis Church in Kalaupapa, Hawaii.