Grace and Peace to you.
When a loved one has surgery, you are with them as you can and you wait in the waiting room when you must. God gives us the spirit to reach into another person’s life when they’re going through a hard time, and companion one another. The word companion literally means one who shares bread. We share the bread of each other’s suffering, joy and struggle, the bread of one another’s lives.
Yet there’s a limit to that. Sometimes the closest we can get is the waiting room. We can be with one another, but not actually take their place. Every parent knows the ache of this limit.
And here’s a mystery: God knows the ache of being with us as we suffer, as if watching from beside us, and yet at the same time suffers with us, sharing the bread of our lives from within us. The deep scandal of the cross is that God suffers with us. God is our infinite companion. There is no limit to God’s with-ness.
The Holy Spirit is that Presence. When Jesus rose from the grave of our suffering he returned to give us his Spirit. He said, “You shall be my witnesses,” and gave us the spirit of companionship, the love by which we share the bread of one another’s lives. “You shall be my with-ness, to the ends of the earth.” This is the Spirit that guides us in love every day, every moment.
In that spirit, pray for those who struggle alone, who have no one to accompany them. Pray for those whose hands no one holds, whose bread no one shares.
Go in peace, and may the love of God and the companionship of Christ and the presence of the Holy Spirit accompany you, guide you and renew you each moment, into the mystery of infinite life.
Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes