I was at a Worship Team party this week when I had one of those grief moments, the kind that only takes one small thing to set me spiraling down into tears. This time it was the Matzo that got me. The dry, bumpy, cracker-like flatbread used for communion. It sat on a paper plate on the table in front of me, surrounded by little paper cups of sparkling grape juice.
I was transported back to Saturday morning prayer at the church office. A small room with low lights and music playing in the background. My husband and I would go when he was able to. We would sit and pray silently for a bit and then go over to the little table for communion. K. would pour the grape juice into thimble sized plastic cups, hand me one and then we would each take a chip of the matzo.
“The body of Christ which was given for you. The blood of Christ that was shed for you”.
K. would always wrap his arms around me and hold me for a moment after we took communion. In that in that act we were sharing our faith and our love.
It was not always that easy. In the wake of chronic pain and bipolar his faith waxed and waned as he fought for every bit of faith he had. At times he was able to pray and meditate with a focus I have yet to attain. He also had the ability to digest what he read in the Bible, heard at church, or in songs and present that to me right when I needed to hear it. He had a clarity at those time that cut through all the extraneous matters and speak to my heart.
Other times he would be angry at God, the church, and the people. He would tell me I was taking all this religious stuff too seriously. He once asked me, if I had to choose between God and him, who would I choose. I told him it wasn’t an either or question, and my faith was a part of me like my personality or breathing. They can’t be separated. That did not sit well with him.
For me, faith is the floor under my feet. It is there whether I am standing, walking, or flat on my face. It is there whether my husband is with me or not.
On that Wednesday evening, engulfed in my memories, I could feel my husband’s arms around me as if he were there, and I heard a small quiet voice say “It’s okay, he’s with me now”.
I didn’t take communion that night. I don’t want to take communion without K. I don’t want that memory to change, I want to keep it in my heart as one of the special ones.
Some day I will go back on a Saturday morning and I will take communion by myself.