Monday, October 12, 2009

Sweet Communion

Our church family celebrates communion every other Sunday. It is a sweet lingering time of offering/serving the bread and wine to each other. There is soft music playing for about half an hour while people can be anointed with oil, prayed for by our pastor or women who can pray with women or men with men. It is simple and orderly while being unstructured and it has an ease and rhythm to it, naturally coming to an end. People look full and at peace leaving.

Yesterday I heard a story that brought me to tears. It really became a metaphor and symbol of what we are symbolically engaging in while we remember the life of love, sacrifice and service.

One brother in our church family is in the later stages of ALS. It is a disease that attacks the muscles in either your legs, arms or throat/mouth first, then the rest of the body until completely paralyzed. Ron lost the use of his arms first. He has never lost his smile, which lights up the room when he enters. His legs have recently given up, so he has been in a wheelchair for the first time this month, letting us get used to learning how to best serve him and his lovely wife during this next stage.

Dave pushed him over to the communion table and handed him the small cup and the broken cracker, not fully understanding that he wasn't able to hold it. Craig, standing by, quietly said that Ron needed it to be given to him as his hands didn't work. Dave, probably uncomfortable initially, tried handing it off to Craig, but Craig and Ron both steadfastly encouraged him to see it through. The brother who knew how to help was teaching the brother needing the help to teach the brother who wanted to help, how to do it. True brotherly love and true communion between men offering to serve each other. Sweet, sweet, sweet.

1 comment:

Emily said...

That would have made me cry...thanks for sharing that.