Thursday, December 24, 2009


Facing the people, the Celebrant says the following Invitation
The Gifts of God for the People of God. - BCP 364

As I meandered up to one of my intensive care floors, the nurse manager on duty caught my eye. "Hello!" The nurses were very casual today - hanging around the station chatting about nothing in particular. Very friendly mood. Nurse manager noticed me scanning the floor and checking in with "mitchell," a patient whom I have been following since July.

"He's just waking up," she tells me. They have all been following him since July. "Oh, well, then I'll just check in on him." I was curious to hear his reaction to the complimentary facial massage provided by the hospital (with a little organizing by the chaplain ). Since "Mitchell" has been paralyzed from the neck down, a tender touch on his face might brighten his day.

"It was great," he tells me. "It nearly knocked me out!" He was smiling. "Can you get my donut?" I scan the room. "Where is it?" I'm looking for one of those pink styrofoam medical devices that are used on patients like Mitchell to stabilize his head position on the pillow. "Its on the table over here," he tells me.

Oh, THAT donut! Krispy Kreme! (what a ditz, I think to myself!) I gingerly feed him a bite of his donut. I try not to knock his neck-and-head stabilizing contraption. He raises his arm to get the sugar off his face, but his hands don't work anymore, so I take the clue and use the napkin to wipe that little blob of tastey high fructose corn syrup off his mustache. "Mmmmm." He's happy.

"Drink?" "Sure," I reply, "what'll you have?" There's a pepsi with a straw on the table there. "Breakfast of champions, Mitchell!" I say as I tenderly slip the straw in his mouth. Slurp slurp. He's happy.

I wish that I could say that at that moment I understood this was communion for us both. I wish that I had the insight to say, something about this holy food and drink of new and unending life in Christ. But I didn't. I realize it now - his Christmas gift to me was in asking for me to serve him breakfast - er, communion - of donut and pepsi. I'm happy.

And I believe that at the last day, Christ will bring us with all his saints into the joy of God's eternal kingdom.

All this we ask through your Son Jesus Christ: By him, and with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all honor and glory is yours, Almighty Father, now and for ever. AMEN.


  1. beautiful post! and a beautiful moment! I could taste the body and blood of Christ as you described your uncommon eucharist experience with beloved Mitchell.

  2. I love it! What a beautiful experience, no matter when you fully realized it. And what a blessing you are to him....and to us. When you start your own church try the pepsi and donut deal - no one will skip communion!