“And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ “
—Luke 22:19 (NIV)
Ever thought about leaving church early? Well, I did last week. I mean…I thought about it, but that’s as far as it got. God intervened and changed my plans, as He so often does.
During the communion service, I decided to cut it short. Not because I didn’t want communion, but because I was afraid I’d mess something up due to my bad eyesight.
I get a little panicky anytime I’m required to do something in public that requires me to rely on my vision. Like the time I showed up to a women’s group meeting, and they passed out the crafting supplies. I thought we were listening to a talk!
Or the time I couldn’t figure out how to work the coffee dispenser at a baby shower. A little help here!
It’s pretty much guaranteed that if I venture out of my house, something’s going to trip me up. Not literally, but mentally, and then I’m going to say something dumb.
Once while visiting Cape May, New Jersey, and driving around looking for a lighthouse, I pointed to a telephone pole and announced, “There it is!”
Yeah, really. My family enjoyed that one for a while. (In my defense, and on a more serious note, I later found out I had bleeding in my retina at that time.)
The fear of making mistakes in public can make a visually-impaired person want to stay home. But then you get bored and lonely. So eventually you have to make peace with it. It’s venture out and (probably) make mistakes, or stay in and grow bitter. Laughter helps ease the errors immensely. So, as long as no bodily injuries result—it’s OK to laugh.
Last week in church when communion was announced, I sat on the end of the aisle (a convenience planned in advance). So it was easy to ready for my escape.
I’ll just wait in the commons area till the rest of the family’s done. No big deal.
I reached for my coat, my purse, the bulletin, and then… “Excuse me, Miss. Would you mind making sure my little boy gets up and back to communion alright? I have to go up front and help.”
(I thought about telling the man next to me I was legally blind, but there didn’t seem to be time. Besides, no need to own it unless I actually lost the boy in the crowd. Then he’d just have to understand. Or not.)
As soon as the guy interrupted my leaving and before he was done asking his favor, I knew God was acting. He was lassoing me back to His service because He wanted me to stay. It wasn’t about helping this 4-year-old boy (who, as it turned out, didn’t need any help). It was about me trusting God, getting my mind off my insecurities, and putting it onto Him, and what He’s done for us.
“Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19).
It reminded me of all the other times I’ve tried to quietly slip away and been called back. God is like that. It doesn’t matter how rotten our thoughts or actions are, He still calls us back. He wants a relationship that much!
He loves us.
And I don’t know about you, but I find that incredibly humbling.
Lord, forgive us for all the times we’ve tried to slip away from You. Thank You for always calling us back and providing the start-overs You know we need. Hold us close, God. And let the power of Your victory overcome our fears and insecurities. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Staying on the Journey,