this is my body

20 08 2008

I’ve been holding on to this post since the 21st of July. I’ll give you “pre” event thoughts and give you the “post” event some other time.

07/21/08 – 6 pm EST – Grand Rapids, MI

This is my body…which is broken for you.

Tomorrow at 10 a.m. the pastor is going to my parent’s home to celebrate communion with them. It almost took my breath away when I heard my mom say that…who does that? I’ve never known anyone to do that. It’s my birthday – 53 of them to be exact. I was selfishly guarding the day to myself…wondering if I could put off going down for one more day. Until I heard that.

I feel like I need to be there for that holy moment. How will my dad react? Will he just cry? Will he know it may be the last broken bread and wine he has on this earth? Or will it be marked by a release…his understanding that he’s free to go…all his affairs are in order? Does he understand that this isn’t the treatment that everyone in the church gets? Will it feel like he’s awake during the Last Rights?

This is my body…broken for you.

His body is so broken. His skin is transparent – like parchment paper delicately laid over a skeleton. Too much paper in some spots – and not nearly enough in others. Slowly the years have evaporated from his soul. He seems so tired – so ready to go. Maybe he needs to hear how much we’ll miss him and how sad we are to see him so frail and not enjoying life. I always think I should speak those words on my way out of the house…wondering if it will be the last time I see him…and I can’t bring myself to force the air around my vocal chords. I just say, “see you later mister…I’ll be back in a couple of days”

Even if he leaves before I get back – those words are true. I will see him again – and it will seem like a couple of days. And I’ll be so glad to see him again or hear him whistling. He can barely catch his breath. No whistles here. He’s saving them all so that when he shows up in that place…his brothers and sister will hear him coming. His nephew will know that Uncle Bill has arrived. Two moms and a dad waiting too…one who left him as a motherless child so long ago…only to have her sister step in to care for him and the others. And his dad – who he loving shaved for six years when his own soul was trapped in a motionless frame.

Does the pastor feel it? Does he feel my dad’s spirit withering like a week-old mylar balloon?

On my 53rd birthday – I will be there to celebrate life…a life well lived…a life lived in sacrifice for the ones he loved…a life lived in imitation of the One who’s life was willingly sacrificed for many.

I don’t remember ever taking communion with my dad…he was always off DOING communion – serving others – NOT being served. It’s your turn now Billy.