It’s hard to distribute Communion when you can’t see because of tears in your eyes.
She came up for Communion. She came to participate in the Lord’s Supper, the body and the blood in, with, and under the bread and the wine. She had lingered at the outskirts of the church. She had been away. She had been hurt. I spent a lot of time with her, comforting, listening, simply being with her. She had returned… but had not joined our family at the Lord’s Table. For months now she’s lingered, watching. I told her she was welcome. I invited her up.
Today. I turned around from retrieving the platter of bread. And there she was, in line with the other communicants. And I cried.
This wasn’t bawling. This wasn’t sudden unseemly behavior. This was simply sudden tears of joy.
A member of our Christian family was finally coming back to feast with us.
I actually had a hard time getting the words out. “Take and eat. This is the body of our Lord Jesus Christ, the same body he gave to death for you for the forgiveness of all your sins.” I heard my voice quiver. I don’t know if she knew how awesome it was giving her Communion.
My assistant asked if I was alright. I nodded with a smile.
How awesome it is to give forgiveness! How awesome it is to be used to show others — so that they may taste and see that the Lord is good!
I needed today. I needed to gather together with family around our Father. It’s been another hard week. I feared today; the sermon was very personal and not everyone enjoys that kind of sermon. After the service, as I hung up my robe, a woman came and said, “Pastor, you made me cry again today. And that’s not a bad thing!” And she burst into tears. We held each other for a long moment.
A man, after the service: “Pastor, you got me with that sermon.”
Another: “Pastor, that’s what I needed to hear today.”
I needed to hear this encouragement from my members. I needed to know that God was actually using me in their lives. And today, seeing a woman receive Communion for the first time in years… hearing that God was using me in others’ lives… and later on, visiting on a hospital call and sharing Jesus with a woman who’d never even heard of him…
Yeah. I’m not ok. I’m tearing up again.
I’m not ok. And that’s ok. I’m a broken man. I such a stupid, silly, useless man… and that God would use me? That he would do such amazing things through me? That I could accomplish his wonders as he works through his Word in my mouth, as he dwells in wafers my hands distribute, that he would create faith through something I would do?
If you’ve read here any amount of time, you’ve heard this sentiment from me before. And I apologize if it’s a repeat. But… it still just amazes me.
I’m not ok… and God uses me anyway.