He Isn’t Gluten Free

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in
– Leonard Cohen

As I’ve spent the last four months recovering from my daughter’s wedding and also living inside of the hardest, darkest Lent I’ve known so far (do I say that every year?), my cracks have grown wider. A little like the cracks in my house due to our ever-shifting foundation. One crack has gotten so bad, that we now have an army of roof rats in our attic. One of those guys climbed up the outside of our house until he found a crack wide enough to get into the attic, then he went back and told all his friends and they all go up there and party every night now.

So yeah, maybe light gets in. But rats get in too.

One of those rats came down one of the walls and ate through our dishwasher drain hose, which caused our third major flood in three years. Now we have no kitchen while it’s all being repaired.

I wonder if that hose was hard to digest?

I’ve been thinking a lot about digestion lately. Every week I eat the bread of life and I am told that I will find refreshment for my burdened and heavy-ladened soul. Every week I have a hard time digesting it. Sometimes I choke and my faith is barely hanging on like I imagine those rats hanging on to the crack in my wall, up there by the roof, and I’m desperate to get the drink that follows the bread. It’s not easy…digesting this Jesus that feeds us with himself; with his body and blood, full of gluten and alcohol. Full of grace and mercy, in spite of my weakness. In spite of my unbelief. In spite of my being unable to do anything about any of it. He feeds me and I cling to him in spite of myself.

My youngest girl is wearing a red and white striped tank top today just like one that I used to wear in high school. It makes me think of a picture I have of me in that tank top, sitting outside on an Oregon summer day, with a boy that I thought was my forever everything. Back when digestion was easier. Back when I could decide what I wanted most and then I could make that happen. But I lost that boy and that tank top and the easy digestion process and now I watch my daughter wheel her new birthday bike through the kitchen to the garage and I wonder what it is she wants the most. And I wonder if her heart breaks over some boy that she doesn’t talk about. And I wonder if Jesus is hard for her to digest. And I’m thankful that He feeds her anyway.

And I’m thankful for chocolate during this Eastertide. And I’m thankful for days that are warm enough for young girls to wear tank tops while they ride their bikes and dream about things that they want. And I’m thankful for bread and wine and grace upon grace upon grace.

Some days take less, but most days take more
Some slip through your fingers and on to the floor
– Bono

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  1. #1 by rladybug32 on April 24, 2014 - 9:24 pm

    I like it when you share your musings. Sounds like rat hunting season!

    Like

  2. #2 by nstaniger on May 1, 2014 - 9:05 pm

    I’ll cling beside you. The words I don’t miss on Sunday, even if I’ve missed the rest by wanderings of mind, are the “Comfortable Words”. “heavy laden…..I will refresh you” rings like lemon in a fresh wound sometimes, hurting and healing simultaneously. “Not perish…..but everlasting” cracks to let the light in. “Save sinners…Advocate…propitiation” why? really? for me? why?
    LOVE rescue me.
    He has.
    The comfortable words, the truth of them, are what echo even when my faith is weak. Thankfully, grace isn’t dependent on dull tastebuds.

    Like

  3. #3 by Leslie on May 9, 2014 - 7:36 pm

    Thank you both so much for your comments. Yes, rladybug, I like the idea of hunting rats. In fact, we have already been a hunting. But the internets is not a safe place to proclaim such things, I’ve discovered.

    And yes, Pil (even though you don’t go by Pil anymore), thankfully indeed. Nor is it dependent on the ability of the recipient to digest well. Thankfully.

    Like

  4. #4 by Cathy Criner Bartholomew on March 10, 2019 - 7:45 pm

    This is the most brilliant thing I have read in quite some time. Keep writing. I love your voice!

    Like

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