Sunday, September 15, 2013


From last weekend...

I'm living under a shadow. Most days I can walk here with, if not nonchalance, then composure. But today was too much for me. There was nothing new or unexpected, but the weight of what my family is battling lay particularly heavy on me. And so, of course, the boys sat on the front row at church, and by the time I dropped off Rand at his class and joined them, the seats were full and there was no other option. And anyway, how do you explain to your children that sitting in the front row of church is weird and the closest the normal people go is about the third row or so. It's too... I don't know, raw and naked, like Mary anointing Jesus' feet with perfume and wiping them with her hair and her tears. That scene would have been less awkward if she'd just teared up and kind of spritzed some perfume in his general area.

So, thanks to my children who don't yet know how to hold back part of themselves, I was in the front row when we sang "It is well with my soul..." and "From the depths of woe I raise to thee the voice of lamentation..." Most days I can sing those songs with, perhaps a few isolated tears, but not today. Today I crossed from composed sadness to undignified grief. The only tissue I had was decorated with bright purple, pink and yellow flowers. I felt like a self-conscious, overweight 15-year-old in a too-short skirt who knows everyone is looking at her and thinking she is ridiculous.

Then communion was served. The congregants walked to the front of the sanctuary row by row, so I received the bread and the wine first. Not wanting to make eye contact with anyone in my disheveled state, I closed my eyes and listened as the man standing in front of me serving communion bread said, "The body of Christ, broken for you," about two hundred times.

The body of Christ, broken for you. The body of Christ, broken for you. The body of Christ, broken for you. The body of Christ, broken for you. The body of Christ, broken for you...

This is what makes a day like today survivable for me: the broken body of Jesus on the cross is not only about the forgiveness of my sin; it is also God taking my suffering seriously.

Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering. Isaiah 53:4a



  1. I always read your posts with a mixture of awe & grief & laughter & tears. And sometimes I don't want to read them because I feel so helpless & it hurts, but I usually force myself at some point, because really that is just so pathetic of me. And now, today, I have reached maybe an all-time high of egocentric, selfish thinking. Because yes, my heart breaks for you & your family, & yes, I remain hopeful & in utter awe of you, your faith & on my luckiest days, in awe of our God. But today another thought occurred to me. Your posts make me sad because I don't know anyone like you. I am actually sad for myself because I don't have a friend like you who lives in my neighborhood or goes to my church. And that is pathetic of me in some ways, feeling that sadness for myself, but in other ways it is a tribute to you & our God who created you & gives you his strength & makes you so raw & real & vulnerable & truly an amazing human being. So when I pray for you this morning I will also be praying for myself, because you have helped me to realize that I need a close-by friend with whom I can be vulnerable & someone who has that incredible gift of faith that draws others to her like children to a campfire. I'm taken in by your warmth & your everyday stories of God in action. Thank you Summer.

  2. Beautiful. simply beautiful.

    Jennifer Jackson


Popular Posts