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