On Friday I was with about 400 people that were on a quest throughout our country to bring to light the atrocities of child soldiers. (We are skipping to the end of the journey for this story.) After standing outside of Harpo Studios 6 hours silently to grab Oprah’s attention, she put us on her show for the first ten minutes and put all the media weight that is Oprah into Invisible Children. The moment of completion was something that we never be recreated. Being able to enjoy the moment with with friends that had meet and grown since the start of our trip in Boston, was like reaching the end of our journey with our goals met.
As we turned to leave the block there was a van sitting across the street loaded with coffee and bread that was gathered by donations from across the country. This bread was not your Mrs. Bairds or Wonder bread for the people in the east. This was real oven baked artisan bread. Grabbing a loaf it dawned on me that for the last week we have been living in community driving across the country, sharing our lives, sharing our meals, sharing any comfort we could provide for others. This is what we have been craving, longing, and searching for. With loaf in hand I ran down the street searching out those people that I had journeyed with, this was the time for real communion. Looking through the crowds, scanning the faces for my fellowship. One by one a came across friends from The Rescue, offering them bread and asking them to have communion with me, breaking bread. The strange feeling of true understanding came across all of us, those that have a strong faith with Christ, those that look at the church with questions, and those that were in between, understood there was something special in that moment. Offering the bread I recited the the words, “this is Christ body, broken for you.” Some people just took the bread, some just looked at me and said, “thank you Brother,” others only replied with, “do this in remembrance of me”
Did we bring church with us to the streets, or did it happen through focus of goals, and sacrificing of self to reach those goals? I am sure the answer is obvious. In contrast to friday, we had communion at church this Sunday, There was a palpable difference in the two experiences. It did mean something to me to share it with my wife, know what we had been through this week, but difference came from others. There just was no sense of shared experience no completions, or family. I do not want to down play the meaning of communion for others in the church but for me there was a definite contrasting experience, form the streets of Chicago to the church building in Temple, Tx. I sure it is obvious what was missing, but how do we gain that back in our lives. How is it that I felt closer friendships and better community with a group of people that I didn’t know at the start of the week then with a church that I have been active in for four years?
I personally think the difference came down to genuine action. Wether it was a known christian i was breaking bread with, wether it i was well received in my actions, I gain genuine responses from my fellow Rescue Riders. I think there is a lot to learn from this, I hope that I have taken to heart what I experienced this week, but I hope that someone else saw Jesus in me; for that is the real reason for riding, to try and live out my faith.
My name's Russell. Welcome to my random and incomplete thoughts about Jesus, justice, culture and food. These thoughts are random because I'm ADD and any normal person wouldn't place these topics together. They're incomplete because my wife and I are finding that more often than not, they fit together perfectly - we're just along for the ride.
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