Monday, July 23, 2007


I only missed church for one week, yet felt, yesterday, as if it had been months since I took communion. The kids were hanging out in the nursery, so I had a rare time of solitude in my pew. I knelt and buried my head in my arms and spent the time before the service began in prayer.

Around me I could hear the bustle of people entering the nave, sitting, chatting quietly, greeting one another. The choir was practicing. But none of it distracted me from the sense that I was sitting in the presence of Jesus.

I had things to confess. Things to tell him. I realized, for example, that the reason I didn't approach the pharisee woman in Chicago was really because of fear. I had to admit that to him. (And will, perhaps, confess it to my priest at my next confession.)

He challenged me. "What if I ask you to leave your church?"

"I will do as you ask."

"What if I ask you to stay?"

"I will do as you say."

I even imagined, for a moment, what I would do if I became pregnant. 42 years old. Would I be afraid? Would I want to have all kinds of prenatal tests to insure the baby was healthy? Would I be willing to have the baby no matter what? In my heart I said, yes, yes, yes, Lord. I would pray for strength and courage.

My friend Pete jokes that he gets hit by the two by four of Christ now and then.

Yesterday I was whacked.

During communion, I wanted to weep with relief.

Two weeks is too long to go without it.


Nancy said...

I understand! I've been told that a number of years ago in my church they only did communion once a month and did morning prayer the rest of the time. I don't know when that changed, but I'm sure glad that it did.

Lauralew said...

Hi Rachel, communion is the "holy food and drink". Without it, one starves, just like if you skipped regular food and drink for a week. No wonder you were so hungry! I am also, when circumstances preclude going to the Eucharist. I try to make sure that is a rare event.

I also remember from my first forray into the Episcopal Church when I was a teen what Nancy mentioned above. I think that changed with the 1979 prayer book.

Rachel's Big Dunk said...

It was a good change. When I was church shopping a couple of years ago, I didn't even consider churches that don't do communion weekly.

Singing Owl said...

Rachel, we are so different in some ways, and so much the same in others. You are a blessing, and you teach me so much. I love this blog, even when I do not comment.

Rachel's Big Dunk said...

Hugs back at you, Singing Owl! I love yours too!