This week has been a big fat full over the top emotional week. One of those weeks where around every bend seems to lay something that could finally do It. Finally put me over the edge, push me beyond what I can bare/juggle/handle/whatever. But still somehow things go on, and I haven’t gone off into the deep end yet. And of course things are not acutally that dramatic. They just feel that way this week.
This week “aunt flo” came to make her monthly pit stop, my littlest sister is going through some hard personal things, there are discussions going on around here about jobs and possibilities and things that could alter our life in a lot of ways – both scary and excting- there are taxes to be dealt with (very, very scary now that I am in-coperated,) and that make me want to curl up in ball under my desk and hide, there are church related issues that make me want to throw things, there is the Sonic that I went to 2 different days trying to get a Java Chiller and on both days they did not have a working ice cream machine. SONIC people. Sonic. Half their menu is ice cream – how can they have a broken machine – for a whole week????? There is the dog who keeps breaking out of the yard and trying to eat the mail man, and the child that has decided that painting the walls with a stamp pad would be a truly brilliant and creative idea. Ha!
The thing is, is that this is all just real life. My problems are not unique, we all have weeks that make us want to tear our hair out or curl into a ball, or both… this just happens to be mine.
Yesterday I was looking up a quote from this book to use in this post over at another blog I contribute to every Wednesday. In the midst of looking for the quote I wanted to use, I also found this one, which I have always loved:
“All actual life is encounter” – Martin Buber
Last night we had our once a month Wednesday night service at church. This is a service that is full of music and singing, a small program of some sort and the sharing of Communion (the Lord’s Supper) together. In a surreal twist of events the guy leading worship for us last night was our former worship leader at our old church. He and Nathan are close friends and we love him and his sweet family dearly. Also joining them on stage was Nathan’s best friend Dan, along with some other of musicsions from our current church. (Are you confused yet?) It was so wild to stand there and sing songs at my new church, while being led with half the band from my old church. It was a “worlds colliding” sort of moment.
After worship it was time to take communion ( where we drink grape juice and eat some broken matza toast) and while the band played and I watched people line up to come foward to the various stations at the front of the room where they could recieve communion, I thought about that quote: All acutual life is encounter.
I thought about the people on the stage – both old and new to me and how they had impacted my life. I thought about this week- about all the encounters that had frustrated or inspired me. And all those encounters that were just daily. The guy at the gas station. The lady checker at the fabric store. All those little encounters, right next to all the big ones. And I thought about communion. My whole life I have taken communion (or The Lord’s Supper as it was called in the church I went to as a child) and to be completely honest, for my whole life it has been nothing more than a ritual. I do not feel a spark or any kind of holy moment when I take communion. I drink the juice. I eat the bread. I sit back down. Sometimes I say a little prayer, but that is about all. Maybe some of that detachment and demystifing of it comes from being a preachers kid. From it being such a normal event. From always knowing that juice is just Welches and they keep in the fridge in the church kitchen and the matza comes out of a box and if you are starving during a church event you can go sneak yourself a snack. I have felt for awhile now that true communion takes place over those dinners or coffees with friends and loved ones where you have the converstations of your lifetime. Those moments when you can feel time stand still and the earth shift ever so slightly beneath you and in you. To me those moments have felt more holy than any communion service I have been a part of.
But last night as I watched my worlds collide on stage, and listened to the music filling the room, and as I watched the sweetness of the servers bending down to serve the kids, or the people who stood and prayed together, comforting one another, encouraging one another, I was glad that it is a ritual that we still observe. I thought about how I would be sad, if my kids didn’t grow up having this oppurtunity to particpate in something so ancient and old, something that thousands of people have done for centuries. And I thought about what communion is really about. It is about remembering together. We are to break bread and drink wine and remember why we believe what we believe, and we are to do it together because all actual life is encounter.