…if you have children, and especially daughters who watch your every move, you will appreciate this.
We took communion on our couch this morning while watching our church online. Yes we did…Ella has been sick the past couple of days and we decided to stay in, yet not miss a good word from our beloved pastor. At the end of his sermon he announced it was Communion Sunday…I went to the kitchen and grabbed us two goldfish crackers and a ramekin of water. I would have opened the red wine but there was no time! Do you think this is okay? Goldfish and water from the comfort of our couch? In our pajamas?! Remembering the great sacrifice of our Lord? Is this okay?!!!
A B S O L U T E L Y.
Thank God, God looks at our hearts… and my heart was filled to the brim with gratitude for my man and this baby…for our life and all we’ve endured and overcome… and HALLELUJAH I’m forgiven!…and Heaven bound!… and I could go on and on and on…
That goldfish cracker was taken with tears of remembrance and gratitude. That water washed through me with the sincere acknowledgement that blood was shed for my sins and I am a forgiven and loved child of The Most High God.
All that made me think of this…let’s go back in time.
It was Communion Sunday at First Baptist and Paige Elizabeth called me out. There were no couches or crackers or ramekins of water…just a 30 year old mother of 3, sitting on a church pew and doing her best to be christian and abide by all the rules with precision…and this meant I would NOT be partaking in the sacraments. I’ll explain why in a minute…
So Paige is around 9 years old and by now I’d spent a good 8 years with her watching and monitoring my every move.
Case in point…I am on my way to visit my parents…she’s 3-ish. I tuck her and her baby sister in the back seat and off we go. Her favorite toy was a Fisher Price recorder and a blank tape was all I needed to keep her entertained and get me the two hours down the road. She was podcasting before podcasting was cool…talking about cows and asking her sister if she’s hungry or happy…singing songs she wrote and monitoring my driving…yes…like a trained patrol officer, in the middle of her highway monologue:
“Ummmmmm, Maaahhhhmmmmm….You ran a reeeedddd liiiigghhtttt.”
Yep. On tape. Recorded as evidence to be used against me in a court of law.
Now back to my church story…
The first thing I noticed when I walked in was the white draping over the altar signifying we would be taking The Lord’s Supper.
Oh no….what to do, what to do?
Our family perched itself on the front left side of the church and my mind began the decisive process of whether or not I would partake.
The past week I had an altercation with another mom…I was still stewing from her words and had spent the week allowing them to fester and grow and take root. It was not the first time she had rubbed me the wrong way…pushed my buttons…ruffled my feathers.
I had been taught that if you had unforgiveness in your heart you better remedy it prior to taking communion. (1 Corinthians 11:28-29) And with this I decided today was not the day for me to participate.
The tray of unleavened bread representing the body of Christ made it’s way to our aisle and I passed…
Then came the tiny cups of grape juice representing Christ’s blood…pass again.
I’m standing there, eyes straight ahead, hands free of the guilt I would feel if I took the bread and the wine knowing I had some unforgiveness in my heart.
Jesus, I’ll catch you the next time around. I’ve got issues with her issues and I’ll work it out…I’ll just stand here today and make sure my daughters don’t spill the grape juice on their cute clothes.
“Mom, You don’t love Jesus?!”
I was truly trying to be inconspicuous with my passing of the tokens of His passing for me, but leave it to Betsy Big Eyes to bust me and call me out…in church!
Did she really just say that? Paige. Shhhhhh.
I tap her arm in a non verbal sort of way to assure her it’s all good and we will discuss this later.
That was not good enough.
“Mom! Why are you not taking The Lord’s Supper, Mom?!”
She was confused and thought in her sweet little mind I’d turned my back on Jesus.
I had not turned my back on Jesus, I’d just turned my eyes upon Gina.
Funny story and I’m sure we will tell it for generations to come with dramatic additives, but seriously…If someone is pushing your buttons, intentionally or not, give it to God and feel the sweet release of letting it go…sooner rather than later.
- Pray about it. Search God’s Word for answers and instruction. Think before you speak. Let them know how they hurt you. Apologize for anything you might have done to spur the behavior. And most importantly… offer grace.
- Read Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott and Love Does by Bob Goff.
As our preacher says, “I’m not where I want to be, but THANK GOD I’m not where I used to be!”
I love you Paige. I love your keen awareness and your big beautiful brown eyes. This next little nugget growing in your womb just might be a little girl…and I will buy her a tape recorder. Yes I will.
And yes, your mama does love Jesus. I just forget sometimes how much He loves me.