Okay. Okay. I’m being still. I’m trying to pause between activities and regain my balance. But, I’ll be honest with you, God. It doesn’t feel like a lot’s happening here. I haven’t stopped overeating and Lent is nearly over.
My heart aches with a deep longing to feel God’s presence.
Fred and I walk to church and arrive with time enough to quiet our souls. The church bell rings. We recite prayers, sing hymns and listen to scripture. The words bounce off me like rain on pavement.
Before communion, we turn to those around us and Pass the Peace with a handshake or a hug. I’m about to return to my seat when I hear, “There you are” and am embraced by a gentle man who sits across the aisle from us. His beard presses against my cheek for a second or two.
Tears well up. I replay his divine greeting over in my mind, absorbing the sing-song delight in it: There you are.
Tears continue to flow as I recognize God in each person there. I line up for communion and God is standing before me and behind me. I kneel down and God kneels beside me. God places Christ’s body in my hands; God offers me the cup.
And I gladly receive it.
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
Questions for your Lenten pilgrimage:
- Take a moment and look back on the past twenty-four hours. Who encouraged you? Could that be Christ?
- Take a moment to allow God to look back over the last twenty-four hours of your life. What moment did God notice you being Christ for another?
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There were many unnamed people in the Bible that engaged in love mischief with our Lord: the woman at the well, the widow who gave her last coin, the cleansed leper who returned to give thanks. And there are many ordinary saints, like this fellow who hugged me, who change the world with little acts of love.