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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Beauty on the edges

A place of freedom for the imperfect

One of our family's favorite traditions, when we travel to my in-laws' home, is to gather around my mother-in-law when she takes her freshly baked communion bread out of the oven.

Her communion bread is a beautiful, light-brown loaf that fills the kitchen with the smell of honey and baked bread. The loaf is round, but not perfectly so. My mother-in-law uses a sharp knife to cut around the communion bread to make it a perfect circle before she prepares to take it to church.

All of us eagerly devour those irregular edges that she cuts off — the pieces that are not perfect but are nonetheless delicious.

Perhaps one of my reasons for enjoying those edges and the imperfect pieces is that I recognize the ways in which I am imperfect, on the edges. Sometimes being on the edge is a good place to be. On the edge, you don't have to trim off your eccentricities to fit perfectly into the mold of someone else's making. The edge can be a place of freedom.


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