This past Sunday I was struck by the sweetness of fellowship, which brought me to tears.
The Lawyer took O on a special weekend trip, so I was with the other 5 children at church. I decided to fore go our usual seats in the second row, and head toward the back of the room, where we might be less noticeable if we were having difficulties (say, like a two year old being noisy or a four year old who only wants to lie down or children knocking things over and being otherwise disruptive). I do love that our children worship during the entire service, but I'm also sensitive toward others and want to be as inconspicuous as possible.
It so happens that usually, G falls asleep on me during the service. This is great for me, as he is quiet and easier to hold. It's challenging, in that 2 year olds can be heavy and he keeps me from wanting to move around/stand up. On this Sunday, he fell asleep and was still sleeping soundly when it came time for communion. I decided that I was happy to stay in my seat, keep him asleep, and use the time for introspection and prayer. Though I was a little sad to miss sharing the Lord's supper, it seemed a better option to me than to stand and wake G (who doesn't usually wake happily).
So, I remained in my seat while others had communion. Then, it happened. I was totally surprised by a hand on my shoulder and the cup and bread offered to my free hand. The elders of the church had come to me, in the middle of the next-to-last row, surrounded by my children, at the end of our communion time. That they sought me out, that they noticed my state, that they had compassion on me, that they extended themselves to bring the elements to me, that they were unwilling that I should not participate . . . I was so moved by this. I had noticed before that they would take the elements to mothers who were in the back room with restless children, but I have never before seen the elements come to a mother with a sleeping child on her lap. It was so compassionate that I cried. Never before have I been in a church where I thought that the elders even noticed who did and did partake in communion. This single act struck me with the closeness of this body of believers. They truly act like a family and strive to take care of one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. The tenderness of this moment reminded me of the lost lamb who is brought back to the fold, and the sheep who are protected and looked after by the shepherd. It was sweet to me to take the bread and the wine and at the same time, accept the sweetness of fellowship in Christ.