It is Sunday night, and the pain tells me that trouble is coming.
The line winds across the concrete floor, and over the sound of the piano I hear recited “Body of Christ”, “Blood of Christ”.
As I approach the minister of the cup, pain flashes across my abdomen, reminding me that some piece of me is softly bleeding, deep inside of me.
This is my blood.
Not a bone of it will be broken they say, as if that is some consolation. With bones intact everything else has fallen apart: his body, the world, his people.
The discomfort is more frequent than it was this time last year. My guts wake me in the night more often. Some days the energy my body is using to battle itself leaves me exhausted before sundown. The skin on my face flares with irritation. My back aches.
The effects of my disease manifest themselves constantly now. The silent attack my immune system wages finds ways to make itself known. My body is not working right.
[Do not entertain thoughts of “one doesn’t know what one has until one loses it”. Before I was sick I marveled at the wonder of a body that functioned correctly. I knew exactly what I had, and how blessed I was. Look how much good it did me.]
Because I am always aware of illness now, I am always thinking of ways it might be alleviated. So far, miracles are in short supply. As I run through my mental checklist of nutrition, exercise, medication and prayer, the circle turns back to reflecting on whatever mystery caused this, and I am crying before I can even articulate the words that keep popping into my mind.
I am broken.
A few students always ask “Why is it called Good Friday?” and for the sake of brevity I respond “because we know how the story ends”.There is more to the answer than that. I am still figuring out it as I delve into the mystery of the story.
This is a story that writes itself every day across my blessed and broken body.