Honestly I wasn't paying much attention in church Wednesday night. I heard the music and knew it was time for communion, but running through my head was, "I need to go to the store after this. And Target. And Petsmart. Do I have enough time? What time is it?" I stood up looking at the clock and about ran into the lady in front of me.
Yikes. I, thankfully, collected myself right before face planting into her paisley sweater. She turned around and smiled hopefully unaware that I had just about taken her out. I smiled, too. She had perfect hair, ruffled only slightly by the oxygen tubing tucked behind her ear.
She made her way to the altar slowly, but intentionally. I stayed behind wanting to see that moment as she did. She had to be at least 85. How many times in 85 years had she walked this path to the table of the Lord?
We knelt at the altar beside one other, a half a century apart in age, but common in purpose.
I take the time for confession before communion quietly in my pew. I take the service seriously and believe in it's importance. But, as one who is always onto the next thing, my brain tends to think, "Bread-body, Blood-Wine, dip, amen, go."
I tried not to stare, but I feel certain I did. "The Body." She took it into her hand like she was touching the Hope Diamond. Carefully folding her arthritic fingers around the wafer she pulled it to her chest and whispered, "Thank you." The officiant serving the communion nodded, but she wasn't thanking him.
"The Blood." Her hand shook as she sipped from the cup and a tear fell to the floor beside her. She closed her eyes and smiled like she was seeing things reserved for those who are closer to home.
Mesmerized by her reverence, I realized I was still holding my communion. I helped her stand up as she headed back to her pew and I stayed where I was longer than normal. I took the body and blood willing it's precious representation to soak into the core of my being.
And I prayed that my life would matter for eternity as I'm one more day closer to Home.