My hike begins like many others for me: time spent talking with God and listening to his voice being carried in the wind. My ordinary day is about to change.
As the giant orange orb crests between heaven and earth, I hear God say “happy birthday,” and my heart explodes with joy because without a doubt I knew why.
It was my birthday, but not in the way you may think. Seven years ago God gave me a new life. Life from depression, new life from death. I am reminded that Jesus, just before he went to the cross, took bread, blessed then broke it, tearing it for his disciples. They – without a clear understanding – received with thanks.
“And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22: 19, NIV)
Eucharisteo! It is the language of Jesus spoken as death prowled close and the cross loomed near. He took the bread, even the bread of death, and he gave thanks. I received his bread broken for me; and today, I live in thanksgiving. The language of eucharisteo is full of gut-deep groans and thanks. Tearing pieces and thanks.
From hospital bedside to laundry, I pray, “thank you, Lord.” Tear and give thanks. Splash pad to aging parents, “thank you, Lord.” Tear and give thanks. Tattered back, nails hammered, “thank you, Lord.” Torn with thanks. Rose-sprinkled aisle to graveyard visits, I mumble, “thank you, Lord.” Tear and give thanks. A life lived emptier yet fuller. Eucharisteo.
Dusk and the arching dome, the bellied moon, is all heavy with the glory of God. The weight of his gift is not illusion or transient but daily, and everywhere, in everything, is gut-wrenching and awe-full. Eucharisteo.