On communion and faking it

On communion and faking it

On communion and faking it 150 150 JJ Landis

Take and eat. This is my body, broken for you.

My head is exploding in pain. Day two.

Could be I need an updated prescription for my glasses. Or I eat too much sugar and processed food. Or I have neglected exercise for days. Or I am carrying too much tension in my shoulders and neck. Or I have consumed excessive amounts of caffeine.

When you’re the picture of health as I am, it’s hard to pinpoint a cause of the migraine.

Whatever the origin, the fact is: my head hurts. Sleep hurts. Awake hurts.

We have communion at church today. It happens just twice a year. With the infrequency comes added importance.

Though I feel like a poser most of the time, I participate. I beg God to be real.

Concentration on the enormity of the body and blood of Christ usually eludes me. I’d do better all alone, rather than in the crowded pews with fellow Christians. But I’m not alone in life. Life is a crowd. (This is a good thing.)

In the church, I focus more on others and on myself than on Jesus Christ. I’m always certain my chewing and swallowing of the bread is loud enough to distract others. Or that I will spill the juice.

I’m more “religious” when I’m not at a religious event. I lose the ability to lose myself and gain Christ when I’m in a crowd. I’m such a faker.

I want to crawl in bed right now. But I know my migraine will permit me from rest anyway.

More than 20 years ago, I was at a church for communion. I had not committed my life to this Christian walk yet. But I knew enough about the power of Jesus to know His body and blood were important.

After snorting cocaine all night long, I was trapped and in a different kind of pain than a little headache. I sat in the balcony with the shakes and sweat and tingling extremities. I was certain I was dying of an overdose.

I ran away to escape. I obviously didn’t die.

I was a faker back then. I am still faking it today.

But I am so hungry for Jesus. I’m so in need of Him to nourish me.

The thing is, He knows I’m a wretch. He knows when my smiles are big fat lies. He knows I doubt Him and want more answers about Him. He knows I’m too lazy to search for the answers, so I just go around and scream that I need Him.

He’s standing here, right now at my side as I selfishly type this drivel. He’s not handing me a little, squishy piece of bread for me to eat in front of others and pretend it’s enough.

He’s crying and bleeding for me. He’s making me cry. His arms are out. He can take away all my pain, the pain that’s so much deeper than my headache.


JJ Landis

JJ Landis is the author of "Some Things You Keep." She is a librarian in Pennsylvania where she lives with her husband and three children. She blogs about parenting, marriage, and getting through the day at jjlandis.com.

All posts by JJ Landis
1 Comment