Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Double Vision

Egger-Lienz - Madona

Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you. (Lowry, Mark. "Mary Did you Know?" 1984.)
Double vision happens when our two eyes won't work in concert.  It's a result of a blow to the head or damage to our eyes. However it's not usually something we would pray for!  In the spiritual realm though double vision is just about as good as it gets. A true gift from God, it lets us see two true things at the same time.  Mary must have had the perfect point of view.  From 12 inches away, she looked into the face of her nursing son and saw the eternal Word of God. Two true things.  Mary swaddled her tiny son.  Mary's tiny son created her!  And we wonder, in the song and in our lives, if she could see it both ways. Do you have double vision moments?  Moments when with clarity you see two true things, one physical thing and one spiritual thing? 
Communion is one of those moments for me.  I make it myself for our little house church.  I take a scoop of flour, the same flour I made pancakes with for breakfast.  I add salt, water and oil to the small bowl and with my fingers work up a ball of dough, just like I was making pie dough or tortillas.  I press it out between my palms, lay it in the well-seasoned iron skillet I brought all the way here from my grandmother's American kitchen, and wait till it browns a little on both sides. I lay the bread on a plate, and then it's on to other Sunday morning jobs.

But an hour later, when my brother holds that plate with "unleavened bread" on it and begins to pray, it is something else.  With my spiritual eyes, I can see that it is the flesh of Mary's dying son. I wonder if she saw the same thing when she came together with the early Christians to break bread? The same little mama who knelt in the hay to swaddle her baby is the mama who stood by the cross and watched him die. I wonder how often that bite of flat bread drove her to tears?

With my double vision I remember that this bread represents not only the dying body of my Savior but the living body of the church.  In other words, when I take it into my body, I recognize that I am but one member in a body of people who are the body of Christ, committed to His headship and to doing His business in the world (1 Corinthians 11: 17-34, 12: 12-31). I can not allow my physical vision to cloud the truth.  That crusty old grouch on the pew next to me is my brother.  The snotty-nosed kid who kicked me in Sunday School is a precious child of God.  They are not out of work or business people, not working women or stay-at-home moms, not single or married, not friends or strangers, not elderly or young.  They are the redeemed.

Double vision. I won't be praying this week for a blow to the head.  However when the bread comes around I'm hoping I see more than flour, oil and water.  I'm hoping to see Jesus.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE(R), Copyright(c) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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