Why I Open My Eyes During Communion


I see them all.  Watch them all.

… the girl with the anthropologie dress and the perfect shade of lipstick
… the white-haired couple
… the barista
… the awkward thirty-something man, limping, the object of jokes in high school
… the workaholic who just lost her job, just lost her identity
… the dad who yelled at his kids on the way to church
… the janitor
… the middle school boy in a football jersey
… the woman battling weight-loss, again
… the writer who hates his own story

They make their way to the front — all of them — to someone holding mercy.  Taking the bread, they dip it in wine and hear grace. “This is the body of Christ broken for you. 

Broken for you.

Broken for you.

And I can’t close my eyes, for the picture is too beautiful.  For a fleeting moment, I see the crowd through the eyes of Christ.  I see deep into individuals with broken hearts, poor choices, regrets.  I wish I could do this all the time — see them this way.

I forget what they’re wearing.  Forget their money.  Forget their success.  Forget the way society has categorized them.

All hungry.  And desperate.  All with a story.  It’s a beautiful scene.

I grew up in a row, passing the communion plate, with my eyes shut tight.  It seemed like the reverent thing to do.  I pondered His broken body, pondered my sin, for as long as it took the ushers to sweep the church with forgiveness.  With redemption.

And I closed my eyes the whole time.  The spiritual ones seemed to always have their eyes closed.

But not anymore.  I grieve my own brokenness, and repent, and surrender — again — and then look up to drink in the scene.

And as we approach Thanksgiving, the forgotten holiday, maybe the Redeemer will do a miracle in my heart and rescue me from misconceptions and my useless, harmful judgements.

Maybe someday I’ll take this scene with me when the Season of Gratefulness has passed, or simply when Sunday mornings are over, and I’ll live my life radically.

The gas station.  The drive-through.  Starbucks.  The book store next to the university.  Cyberspace.  Anywhere.  Everywhere.  Give me the eyes of Christ.

God, send grace.


photo source

4 thoughts on “Why I Open My Eyes During Communion

  1. This is such a beautiful testimony of the power of communion. The nourishment that he offers. What a scene the wedding feast will be!! And you’re right, we won’t be able to look away from it’s beauty. I love this: “All hungry. And desperate. All with a story. It’s a beautiful scene.” I love your heart.


  2. Christan,
    I love watching my brothers and sisters slowing making their way to the front to take communion. Like you, my tradition had me in a pew taking the bread/wine, and then closing my eyes for personal reflection. Looking around was irreverent. I’m with you–for me, looking around is a way of seeing myself in my friends and in strangers. Rejoicing in the simplicity of it all at the foot of the cross! Connecting with a smile as appropriate. We’re all in this together.



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