Sunday Evening, serving communion. I sat there, basket of bread in my hands, and as I did, a totally unexpected thing occurred. I felt challenged to use each persons name as they came forward, granted I don’t know everyone’s names, but as far as I was able, I did. As I spoke those familiar words, or a variation on them “The body of Christ broken for you,________” I heard God reply each time, “My body is broken for you Emilie, so you could be made whole” Every time.
I fought back the tears, and took a deep breath before I served the next person, and the next, and the next, knowing those piercing words, those full-of-love words, would come straight back at me. Him, God almighty, Creator of the universe, King of kings, Ruler of all, broken, for me. Broken so I can be whole. Broken so I don’t need to be.
Yet I choose to be, I choose to run, to hide, to seek solace in other things, I choose to remain broken. I fling his gift back in his face. I say “Thank you very much, but no thanks, I’ll do it my way.” I thank him with my lips, and then hammer in the nails with my actions.
Still He chose, chose to break, to go through searing pain physically, and a ripping of his heart emotionally. Knowing it was me causing all that, He chose. Chose to be broken so I could know wholeness, so that my brokenness would be healed.
And He stands there, holding it out, asking me to take this precious gift, waiting for me. And I look at him, holding it out, and oh I am so tempted, it does look good, this wholeness, and his arms, they look so loving, and his face it looks so safe.
I am so tempted, but as I begin to reach forward I think surely not. This can’t be for me, you can’t hold out this gift so readily for me, for me, the girl who tramples all over grace, who happily picks up that dagger to split open your side, who sat at the foot of the tree, mocking, while you hung there. Surely this isn’t for me.
Yet his hands are still there, arms wide open, ready to embrace me, ready to give me this wholeness that he paid for with his broken body, and his shed blood. I reach out again, about ready to fall into his arms.
Reaching out for this wholeness comes at a price. To accept this gift means admitting that I am broken, that I am hurting. It means giving over my pain. I look at those arms and I shake my head, “I can’t, I can’t give it to you. To give it to you means taking it out of me, I can’t take out this hurt, I can’t open this carefully locked, sealed, box and drag it out for you. I’m scared.” But I look at those hands and I see pools of tears in them. He speaks back “I know, which is why I’m not asking you to do that. Just let me hold you, come sit with me, accept my healing and I’ll do the rest, just rest in me and let me.”
I look into those trustworthy eyes, that safe lap, those loving arms, I look knowing He’d go to crazy lengths to soothe my pain, to hold me close. I melt. “I need you Jesus, so much.” I know it’s the only way, so I fall into His arms “I’m scared, but I want this so bad, and I don’t know how you could love me so much to break for me, but I want all it won for me. Won’t you take my pain, my failures, my weaknesses and make me whole? Please?”
The line has come to an end and I turn to face the other server, we serve each other. He holds out the bread for me “Jesus’ body broken for you Emilie” I hesitate for a moment. Can I? Can I accept this gift? Can I eat knowing that if not today, or tomorrow, then one day so very soon I will spit it out, I will trample on that broken, bleeding body? Trying to do it my way, ignoring the gift laid out for me thinking another route is better. But how can I reject such an act of love? I hear him whisper to my heart once more, “My grace is enough, Emilie”. So I take, I eat, I drink. I fall into his safe loving arms, confessing I am broken, I am hurting, I am weak, I fall oh so much. Confessing, but knowing He broke and bled for all that, He bought grace, He bought healing, He bought forgiveness, He won a victory for me. And He’s holding out all his bought and all he won for me to take.
Once again I am undone by the Gracious King, my saviour, who I can call Friend.
Do you remember back in August when the UK riots broke out? First in Tottenham, then they spread, some big, some small, across the country. We watched the craziness from our TV screens, some of us from our windows, some of us hearing first hand stories from those close to us returning from the cities and towns. In the UK we couldn’t believe what was breaking out around us.
Today we have a guest post from a dear friend of mine. She and her family are so dedicated to help these people, they love them so much. If you ever listen to her speak about this country or it’s people you could not question the way her heart aches to see the land restored and the people made whole, to see them moving forward.
She speaks from her heart, and portrays my own heart in words I cannot find.