“Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.”
Very early one Sunday morning many years ago, I was awakened by crippling abdominal pains. Neighbors took me to the ER at 3 am. In less than 24 hours I was supposed to be on a plane to Italy! Instead, I was told, I’d need emergency surgery. I asked my neighbors to call a friend from St. Paul’s. When church began later that morning at 10 am, I was already on the prayer list.
By 11:30 am, two dear parishioner friends stood in my room as I was being prepped for surgery. Two more arrived as I was being wheeled down the corridor to the operating room. I was told the rector arrived shortly after I was taken to surgery. Many hours later I awoke in my room to find another parishioner keeping watch.
Throughout that day and for the next five days during my hospital stay, the people of St. Paul’s took care of me. Two took on the monumental task of cancelling all my itineraries for Italy. One friend arranged sign-ups for home delivery of meals after my discharge from the hospital. That same friend spent the night at my house the first night I was home. Throughout this whole time, I had no worries. I was disappointed about missing my trip to Italy, but what I got instead was much more—I got a lesson that the bread and body of Christ go way beyond merely standing around the Holy Table on Sunday mornings.