Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Communion: Beyond the Doors of the Church

"What is time for if not to bless?" - Ann Voskamp

Isaiah was adamant about working with me in the garden. The child who cannot bear even
a spot of water on his dry clothing eagerly slipped off those red shoes - fancy Pumas that
he received as a Christmas gift; already so worn, rugged, bearing the marks of boyhood
adventure - and then his socks to feel the cool, damp earth between his feet.

I stood in awe, shock really, waiting for a cry of displeasure. Nothing.

"Teach me how, momma."

He learned how to pick beans that day; how to carefully pull back the green leaves and fill
his bucket with joy. Plant after plant, my diligent shadow picked a few - ate a few - and then
told me all about how he knew that Jesus was the one who made them grow.

I just stopped. I dropped the beans from my hands and began praying out loud.
Thanksgiving for the earth, the sun, the water that falls from the heavens - the seeds,
the growth, the God that works in every minute of every day to bring forth food for our family.
Food that remains unscathed by pesticides, preservatives - fresh, raw goodness that passes
through our hands and onto our table to fill us up. I gave thanks. His little
voice echoing, tiny "uh huhs" - his version of "AMEN." A Eucharistic moment.

For the past several months I have been delving deep into the ever so popular book,
One Thousands Gifts, by Ann Voskamp. Recently I began the study with a group of some of
my dearest friends, and it has moved my heart in ways that I needed, longed for - like it was on
the tip of my tongue, just beyond my grasp this whole time.

And finally I taste. Finally the door opens and I can touch it.

For years I've watched my own husband unashamedly offer thanks, praise, prayers of petition out
loud, in the moment - on the street, in public places, with complete strangers - with family, friends,
our children... with me. I've jealously watched his zeal, his trust, his belief that God is
there, listening, responding. I brushed it off all this time thinking that it must be a
"Protestant" thing - part of something he grew up with, his ethos.

But not for me.

Communion is for Church. Of course I have a "personal relationship" with Jesus Christ,
but for some reason it felt strange, odd, to pull Him into every moment of every day. My whole life,
I have celebrated the Eucharist - taking part in that glorious mystery - but seriously underestimating
its power, Christ's power, to walk out of the pews, slip out the door, and burst forth - ALIVE IN ME -
ALIVE IN YOU - in the world.

I don't want to wait to "give thanks" until the next time I find myself at Mass.
I don't want to wait to "praise" until the next time I'm leading worship with my husband.
I don't want to wait to "seek help" the next time someone asks me if I'll pray for them.


I want to do it now. Because He's here. Communion.

“Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair.” - G.K. Chesterton

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  1. Aghk, you make me cry. So sweet. So life-giving.

  2. Love this. What a beautifully written post. I can't wait to hear and know my son is learning what we're showing him about God's love.

    My Wholesome Home

    1. It's the best, Rachel - hearing and knowing that the things we are teaching our children are sinking in, taking hold of their hearts, moving their minds! I know that I sometimes wonder if my time, efforts, talents, credentials would be better spent "out in the world"... and then stuff like this happens and I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that THIS is what God wants of me! It's SO good. <3 <3

  3. This is beautiful! I felt as though I was reading a sister-book to One Thousand Gifts. I absolutely love your Instagram feed and blog... You are an inspiring Mama. Be blessed. -Sarah

    1. Ann Voskamp is the woman! I love her and her writings. So inspiring. Like Anne Shirley in real life! Especially in the drama and imagery department. It gets ya! Thanks for following along!!! God bless you too, friend! XO


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