This tomb, seen along the roadside in Israel, reminds me of another tomb where God testified regarding eternal blessing and renewal.

Monday, March 2, 2009


I am recovering from the stomach flu. I was pathetic, really, or "kawawa," the Filipinos might say. I am told that when they say the word, they also fill it with a type onomatopoeia, saying it slowly in a whiny voice, dragging out each syllable for emphasis, just to make sure everyone fully understands the pathos to subscribe.

Frankly, I was also a bit lonely. It's busy season, that is tax season, so CPA Barry leaves early and returns late. When I am sick, I rarely leave my bedroom. I normally pull my computer up to the bed on my "hospital style" computer table and lean back on pillows to study, or read, or write. This time, I didn't feel like it. For the first 24 hours, I rarely moved. I moaned a little, but no one was here to hear, so the effort proved highly unsatisfying. I finally turned on the TV (which is not like me) and vegetated.

I had agreed to teach a women's retreat beginning on Friday, but Friday was that first day, so I lined up a sub, ever so thankful that God has blessed me with such gifted and kind friends. We had also planned to serve communion Saturday night during a special worship time for Westover's younger set, and I had been looking forward it. But, I didn't feel like it. Another missed opportunity.

Sunday morning, I was better...but so weak that we decided not to risk going to Bible class. Entering the building for worship felt odd; I had rarely spoken in the past 72 hours. I had morphed into a cocoon of introspection. I went directly to the auditorium and sat down. Prayer prompts scrolled across the screens, and my mind turned to reflect on the names, the needs, the stories, and I began to pray. Gradually, my journey out began--out of myself and back to community.

When it came time to commune, we took our places among the other shepherds and their wives. We were to pray with any who might desire before they took the emblems. The congregation began singing, and I watched them come. Tears formed in my eyes. These were God's people, putting marriages back together, celebrating births, returning from weekend trips, newly engaged, and on their first "church date"--ripe with life. They were also unemployed, dealing with sin that seemed unforgiveable and marriages that had fallen apart; they were watching their husbands in deteriorating health, dealing with depression and tired from life. But they were all coming, and together, we sought Him in the midst of our circumstances.

Community does that. It calls out of ourselves and reminds us of who we are--a part of humanity, gifted with life, challenged by life, and in need of Him. No matter what life throws our direction, our presence together testifies to the power of resurrection--his and ours.

Accept the bread~it is His body, both in the plate and in the pew.

Drink the cup~it is His blood, a reminder that I might also sacrifice for you.