He walks the pew, back and forth, back and forth. I’m afraid we may look like some weird contortion of the wave; each time he spans from the left to the right and back we lean back to let him pass by.
After a couple of minutes of frequent passes, I decide to take him to the back of the church. I begin the walk back–you know the one, where you pass everyone because you sit up front so your kids can see. I don’t really want to make eye contact because we’re all supposed to be paying attention.
I hope my shirt isn’t jacked up revealing my road map of a belly: I only judged this outfit based on how it looked while standing straight and still in front of the mirror, not wrangling a 2yo across my body as I make the mile long trek to the back of the church.
I can feel the tears begin to well up, ready to overflow. I look out over a sea of the back of people’s heads. I have seen the back of some of these heads for 10 to 15 years.
I see part of the family whose little guy was in the hospital this weekend with a concussion and fractured skull after a bike accident.
The newly pregnant and very tired momma of three toddlers smiles as she passes me and I smile back. “I know…,” I try to convey.
The blended family struggling to make smooth transitions, the women who have miscarried, the single looking, and the widowed waiting for sweet reunions; each and every soul carries its own story and I know but a piece.
I pray for many of them specifically.
“Lord, please let that family’s hurting granddaughter know Your purpose for sparing her life twice now after attempts to take it.”
“Lord, please relieve this family’s financial burden and watch over that family’s son as he prepares to leave for war.”
I am no longer one standing in the back of the church. Each Sunday we reunite. The physical bodies become the collective one that make the body of the Church.
We are all here to partake of the one Bread; this is why we come.
We dress and drive and wrangle kids and smooth creases and hair so we can be nourished.
The body of Christ Himself fills the hopeful and hurting. The life-giving blood that pumped through His very veins now becomes a part of us and we leave strengthened, even if we don’t feel like it.
The physical and spiritual body of Christ meet in this place amidst crying babies and pleading parents and the walking wounded of the world because the world hates us. I stand at the foot of the cross and notice those with me. I see the backs of their heads while He sees straight into their hearts.