Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about community and the tremendous gift we have in one another. I love people and, as an extrovert, it is only natural that I love speaking with them, but I am constantly amazed at how much I learn about God in speaking with others. In listening to their stories and journeys, I often catch a glimpse of God.

Furthermore, in praying with others, we become connected in a deeper way than in just talking to one another. In those moments of prayer, with eyes closed and hands clasped, I find myself in awe that people who might be separated by age, gender, sexual orientation, race, physical or mental abilities, ethnicity, socio-economic status, education level, or even experiences are caught up together in speaking to and listening for God.

The same amazing thing happens in Holy Communion when people from diverse backgrounds and walks of life come to the table to receive the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ in humble bread and wine. In the Eucharist, we are joined together not only with God and those in our individual communities, but with others around the world participating in the meal. In that holy meal, we are connected with those who have come before us and those who will come after we are gone. That’s powerful.

Trying to capture all of this is mind-blowing to me, but I’m glad it is not easy to grasp. The mysterious and powerful nature of it speaks to God’s immense creativity and the great expanse of God’s love.

Here’s a brief poem about some of the holy conversations that take place in community:

Holy conversations…

Swirl around coffee cups.
Resonate in cramped hospital rooms.
Occur on walks in the woods.

Holy conversations…

Silently fill grieving souls.
Shout from joyfully overflowing hearts.
Pass through a gentle touch.

Holy conversations…

Sparkle in empathetic eyes.
Rest in hands receiving broken bread.
Echo in full-bellied laughter.

© 2011. Annabelle Peake Markey. All rights reserved.