It was colder than I expected. Not that I expected it at all. I might have mistaken it for a tear, if it were warm. But it was cold. And blood red.
I had chosen a rough piece of bread, broken for me by hands that prayed over the loaf as it was placed on the doily and covered until the words of institution. Then it became more than bread – it was the body of Christ, broken and yet resurrected, present yet at the right hand of God.
I dipped the mysterious bread that was Bread into the wine, poured out for all of us and yet contained in the chalice. Then. as I looked up to acknowledge the words being spoken over the cup, a droplet formed. It hung for a moment, suspended between the now and not yet, then let go.
It landed and then slipped silently and quickly out of sight, behind my blouse. Unseen, it traced a path across the part of the chest that stands in for our hearts when we pledge allegiance or swear. But I could still feel it, wet and intrusive, a little embarrassing.
The blood of Christ poured out for me and unceremoniously dripping down into my bra.
I turned and walked back to my seat, but in my mind I was transported to another Eucharist. I had helped preside and was watching as this congregation of 150 or so women and men passed plates filled with bread. Each one choosing, eating and taking into themselves a small piece of God with Us. In that moment, I understood anew this truth: within each believer is the same power that God revealed in the resurrection of Jesus. And that being the Body of Christ is what brings that power to bear and allows us together to live wholly into our work as the church universal.
Sitting in my chair, it felt oddly right that I had been marked outwardly this day. That some part of my clothing might bear a small stain. That – even for just a few fleeting seconds – I would feel the air on my skin a little differently where that droplet had passed.
After all, the power of reconciliation should transform us and heighten our senses, alerting us to the reality of the world around us and to glimpses of the world as it is meant to be.