For the love which from our birth over and around us lies Folliot S. Pierpoint
I received communion again last Sunday. With a probability that my math is askew, I figure that since joining the church at age 13 - take away a few heathen years of college and intermit patchy attendance; I've chalked up somewhere near 1,000 such ceremonial moments.
With shame, I've often struggled with these bits of time which are designed for peace - probably my propensity for multi-tasking. And I confess that ingestion of the body and the blood has been a stressor.
The responsibility of communion has always turned my thoughts toward the church community, a group to whom I have been emotionally attached for decades. Overtime, I've registered physical transformations and the tole of personal trials. I've often dwelled on lost opportunities for those of us who linger with the topic of sin as the major preoccupation of a spiritual life.
But even after a lifetime of somber prayer and tile shaped bread surrogates - after decades of grape juice shots measured out by glass or plastic - after an eternity of suited cuffs and averted eyes, I had a moment of genuine elevation.
Relief came with some words of love from Reverend Joe Evans.
Something about “not the fear of punishment, but the desire to live in a way that honors the love that we have received,” opened my heart.
Over thinking ceased. Flailing for ceremonial words desisted. With the mystery of it all, a word dropped into my exhausted brain - refresh.
Serendipitously about the same time, another ritual of rejuvenation had occurred. Elodie, her mother and I ventured to Susan and John Drury's Farm. We had new born strawberries on our minds.
In a joyous explosion of a two year old's discovery, my road weary soul recommitted. Navigating rows of berry plants with bare feet, we loaded cartons of lush red, expertly tested and marked with the imprint of tiny teeth.
From juice streaked peewee cheeks and fingers, a call went WAY up to Mr. Golden Sunshine, a friend who often seems to disappear as quickly as he is shown.
Thank God for ritual and the mental freedom of a restorative moment - be it the impossible beauty of the seasonal strawberry plucked straight from the earth or communion with the birthright of love.