(Edited by Sister Cheryl Lowe.)
I had some dreams today. One portion seems worthy to be recorded…
I was walking with some friends as students in a university. It became dark as the evening came. We seemed to have lost our direction on the huge campus. We were trying to return to the place where I came from, which was a classroom on 9th floor of a building where I had been studying, and I left some of my things there. (This part is not very clear now.) I had been trying to find t someone employed by the university to ask for directions. We found two: a clerk behind a desk, and a doorman. The few directions they gave to us were more confusing than helpful. We were now quite exhausted. Many, who were my classmates, became less hopeful that we would find the building at all. But I knew in my heart that the building should be around the next corner. It seemed that I was the one responsible for the group…
Now we were standing outside of an entrance to a huge cafeteria building. After the long walk around campus everyone was hungry. But it wasn’t the normal serving hour. Dinner time was a few hours ago. The rules were quite strict, so no food was expected to be prepared or sold at this late hour. Strangely, the back door to the kitchen was open, which was unusual- as it was never opened to the outside before. As we peeked in, we found that an old chef was baking some flat bread (like the unleavened bread that the Jews made without any yeast). We could smell the sweet aroma. This made us feel even more hungry. Some from our group began to poke me, saying that I wouldn’t dare to go in and get anything for us to eat. I took the challenge and walked to the side of the old chef, asking for some bread. I fully expected him to refuse me, or at least ask me for compensation. But he didn’t! Quietly and happily he wrapped a pack of them up in a towel and offered it all to me, for free. I was very much surprised by his unexpected kindness.
I began to withdraw in order to share the bread with the others, not wanting to disturb him, as he was busy with cooking. But he seemed to have found in me a kindred spirit, and the old chef smiled at me and asked me to stay longer- without actually saying anything. This surprised me again, as I felt really bad about my imprudent intrusion. So I quietly complied, with an appreciation and a warmness in my heart. It came to me that the old man knew me from the past because I used to come to his cafeteria to eat. He used to serve behind the counter, and we students would rush to our meals in the cafeteria area, which was on the front. He had been quietly observing me for some time. The fact that I was here seemed to make him extremely happy, as though he had been waiting for it for quite some time. He seemed to know that I would visit him one day.
Now, some of the younger chefs were also coming around. They showed a special respect to the old man, especially when he was making “his own” bread. It was like ritual to all of them. I recognized that this was a most solemn and delightful moment for the old chef. He kept that portion of the kitchen to himself, and none were allowed to interfere with him. I could sense that the others were quite surprised to find that an “outsider” was allowed to be here.
There were some cooking pots or frying pans before the old chef. The flat breads were made from the left frying pan, which was the biggest. Many were already made but still hot and fresh and kept in a huge basket, ready to be served. I realized that these were given only to those working in the cafeteria. The young chefs came to pick up their bread and to eat their portion.
Now, the old chef had just finished baking a cake bread in the right pot. It’s size and shape was like a corn cake. But it was seasoned with many ingredients that I could not identify. Knowing that I was hungry, he broke a big portion of it from the pot and shared with me. It was very very sweet, as if mingled with oil and honey. Now the old man never said a word, but he could tell me everything by the way he looked at me. I knew now that it was time for me to watch while eating. He put some dough made with fine flavor into the middle pan. In no time, the old man was almost magically making the most lovely bread I had ever seen in my life! With a few moves, out came this fresh, golden, puffed, and crispy bread or cake. Evidently it was baked with the best flavor, and saturated with oil. I was surprised as he put nothing ahead of time in the pan. So I knew it was a very very special recipe. And I really wanted to have a piece of it! But I knew better than to ask, as I thought to myself, “this must be the kind of bread the old man wanted to make and eat for himself. It must have been.” Then I knew I was wrong. Obviously the reason that I was asked to stay was to taste this bread and to be entertained with his best. Seeing my response, as if having read my every thought, the old man now smiled wholeheartedly. He tore a big portion of the bread directly from the pot and gave it to me. He gazed at me like a little child, eager to share something wonderful with his friend. I knew that he wanted to see me surprised by tasting how good it was.
As I took it and began to put it into my mouth, the dream ended.
(I need to study more on the feasts and the priestly portion.)