“God, why do you love me?” I asked aloud as I sat on my couch Friday night. I thought about my appearance when I move, my spasticity, and lack of grace. I thought about how kind God has been towards me; how closely He has paid attention and attended to the details of my life. The two ideas clashed. With some perplexity, I tried to imagine what it must look like from His perspective to be my friend: A tender and loving God embracing me with all of my physical quirks. “I’m so…awkward!” I let my confession linger in the air.
Once a month, I have the opportunity to serve communion at my church. I’ve only been doing it since July, but in the last eight months, I’ve seen many faces come through my line. Some people are weary; bags hanging heavily under their eyes. As they come forward, they turn their ear towards my mouth, waiting to hear the words they need most, “The body of Christ was broken for you. The blood of Christ was shed for the forgiveness of your sins.” Suddenly, they turn to meet my gaze and with a sincere exhale say, “Thank you.”
I’ve served people who used walkers and children who need to be held. I’ve served strangers and dear friends. I’ve served communion standing up and sitting down. I’ve served the young and old, the smiling and the serious. My favorite though, is people who come forward, hands cupped, waiting expectantly to receive the elements.
As I held my basket this weekend, I thought about God’s fellowship with me, His desire to dine, to share His friendship with people who look and move differently. I imagined all my friends with physical disabilities sitting around a table with Him, enjoying a meal, smiling and having a great time: accepted, loved, and happy.
I thought about Mephibosheth, “lame in both feet,” who when called before the throne of David, had a moment of honest exasperation like I did this week on my couch. Mephibosheth bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?”
But the story doesn’t end in exasperation. Out of kindness for Mephibosheth’s father Jonathan, David offers a permanent invitation for Mephibosheth to fellowship with him at the king’s table. I love the last line of this story: And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table; he was lame in both feet.
God wants to fellowship with us out of kindness for who we are: His children. We are precious to Him and that’s enough reason to extend a permanent invitation.
But there’s more.
I believe God sees the very real challenges that accompany our human condition. He cares deeply about the pain that we experience. In the midst of it all, He extends His fellowship because His meal has something to offer. His broken body brings us wholeness and His blood brings healing to our hearts.