This time last week I was sitting in the pasture watching the sun set, the moon rise and taking communion for the first time in years. And I mean, years. I talked a while back about starting to attend church again. Communion, for me, has always been something you do at church. With the little tiny plastic cups filled with grape juice and the even tinier little square of stale bread. It was sacred and serious and not to be joked around with.
I still 100% agree that communion is sacred and serious and not to be joked around with, but last week… I had a different experience with communion.
The most spiritual, intimate, real, truly sacred communion I’ve ever had… and it wasn’t in a church or with grape juice in tiny plastic glasses or stale bread shaped into little tiny squares.
I knew Lakeshore offered communion on the first Wednesday of each month but I had only been attending for one month when the quarantine started. Last week, I made it a point to mark the time off to watch their online service and take communion.
Earlier that day, they posted this picture with a little note saying:
"Communion is not about taking actual bread, or actual juice. It is about the symbolization of what Jesus did for us and remembering His sacrifice of love! If you don't have bread or juice, simply use whatever you have and join us in taking communion from home."
Part of me… that part that hadn’t felt “good enough” to take communion in so many years past… still wanted to make it a thing.
I called my sister to see if she could zoom with me and take communion together. She couldn’t. I called my mom to see if I could come there and take it with her and my step dad. They already had plans.
None of the kids were home, Evan was giving a lesson and I just really didn’t want to go in my house and sit alone. I knew I would be easily distracted and that my focus may end up being on dirty dishes or unwatched Netflix series. So I grabbed a half package of Ritz crackers and a random can of white grape juice and headed to the far pasture.
Right as I shut the last gate, I saw a message from Lakeshore informing of technical difficulties and letting everyone know that the communion service would be at 8:00pm instead of 7:00pm.
I could have went home. I could have used that time change as a reason to blow it off until next month. But instead, for some reason, I decided to go all the way out to one of the very few trees we have on the farm and just sit. Right as I pulled up to the tree, a beautiful bright red cardinal flew onto the branch nearest my car and looked straight at me. Anyone that has been around here long knows that my late father is very very good at giving me winks. God winks, dad winks, signs, confirmations, validations, points in the right direction… call them what you want.
That red cardinal was one.
I hadn’t seen a cardinal all year and on the evening of something so sacred and so special… one shows up. Oh wait… and in a tree I wouldn’t have even driven to if the time hadn’t changed on said sacred and special thing.
My friends, God is so good to us. If we give Him the time and the space, He will show us we are loved and held and doing the right thing. We don’t have to be perfect. The setting doesn’t have to be perfect. We just have to be willing to see and hear what He has in store.
I’ve said before and I will say again… I can always tell when I’m walking in the right direction, eyes blindly open (yes, that is a thing), palms up… because the winks are everywhere. The bread crumbs… if you will… are always easy to follow. I just have to be paying attention enough to see them.
I took communion last Wednesday night. For the first time in a very long time.
I felt peace, I felt joy, I felt intimacy and I felt humility.
And I was sitting on a blanket, under a tree, with a Ritz cracker and a little can of white grape juice… which expired in 2017, by the way.
The online service was short and it was sure. I took a screenshot of this verse…
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24
That verse is all the things I need. Search me. Know my heart. Test me. Know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me. And LEAD me in the way everlasting.
By definition, communion is “the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level.”
I want to make more space to hear the Lord. I need to remind myself that His words aren’t dependent on me sitting in a pew sipping grape juice and eating tiny bread.
I need to give Him more sacred time to search me, know me, test me and lead me. And that sacred time can look however it needs to look at the time.
These days, I’m thankful for pivots. As they continue to remind us exactly how omnipotent the Lord is.