Thursday, September 07, 2006

A Welcome Addiction

There is one kind of dependency I welcome: dependency on your body and blood, Jesus.

Sometimes I think, Lord, that my life depends on the food I eat, ready heat during the winter months, gas for my car, and the money I earn in order to buy these things. This is a lie.

I need to be fed on your red blood and your rich body, Lord. I need my heart to burn like the wayfarers who met you on the road and who saw you in the blessing and the torn bread.

I want the feeling that I had, on hearing a simple wedding prayer about being nourished by you—the feeling that the earth was dropping away and that I was balanced on a single point of clarity.

At times I bow my head at the Supper and don’t want to raise it for fear of my great sin. I need lips cleansed by coal, like Isaiah, so that I can receive the holy meal.

But then, at other times, I approach distractedly, my mind on parent/teacher conferences, overdue bills, how hot or cold the church is—anything except the great mystery of your table. If you were standing before me in person, how could I think of anything but you? In truth, you are before me, and around me, and within me, and, my Lord, you deserve my full attention—even my entire self.

As a child, I used to imagine what I would do if you walked into the room. I knew I would hug you tightly, probably cry, most likely kneel. As an adult I know I would do all these things and probably even throw myself onto the floor in humility. I suspect, though, that you would raise me up, embrace me, and urge me to sit and talk with you for as long as I wanted.

The beauty is that I don’t need to imagine. I simply need to open my eyes continually to the truth of you in your Supper. I need to be fed. Lord, help thou my unbelief.