I watched on Sunday as others made their way to the Chancel rail to receive communion. It is a time I always appreciate. No words, just time for reflection and getting to see everyone else who happens to be in church.
It turned out to be a powerful few moments for me.
On one side of the sanctuary, a father and his two sons knelt together to commune. The dad wrapped his long arms around both of his little boys as they prayed.
On the other side of the room, a homeless man knelt to receive the elements by himself.
I know both of these men.
I couldn't help speculating about just how life probably had been for both.
I thought of the two young boys and what an amazing advantage, what a gift their dad was to them.
I wondered what had gone wrong with my homeless friend, a fellow who actually lives in one of our apartments.
Somehow those surrounding arms stuck in my mind.
Those boys have the arms of that father to protect, direct and provide. Somewhere along the line my homeless friend lost all such benefit. Why didn't seem to matter very much as I observed the two men and the boys.
What mattered was the gap.
The gap that separated them was much wider than the expanse of our place of worship.
Our experiences and our blessings--largely outside our control--often define the nature of our lives.
What I saw was a telling gap, indeed.
Options play a powerful role in defining life.
I must remember and never forget.