Supper

They say

When you eat with Jesus,

It’s not what you think it is.

There’s your sip, the smell, a gesture, a few words, some bites of worldly ingredients. The running away from the table, from each other, because time is running out.

I’ve never dined with Jesus. My mother always cooked for us.  And she always invited you. And you, stranger, came, and together, we ate. At the big wooden table. Clean hands, dirty hands, big eyes, tired eyes, full lips, wrinkled ones – us.

I didn’t know where you’d come from. You were so different, rarely spoke, no shoes or socks, always brown with sunshine and mud. And one day, you toothlessly said:

Remember.

When you eat with Jesus

It’s not what you think it is.

Had you eaten with Jesus? Without teeth or knowledge? I stared at you for a long time. You were bent over your full plate. Your oily, thin brown hair covered your wrinkled, small eyes and you didn’t mind. You chewed, took gulps, then, when the plate was empty, rested your hands in your lap.

Then you looked up at me. And we both caught me. I hadn’t eaten at all. I quickly took my eyes off you and stared down. At my plate. And in the food my mother had cooked for us, I suddenly saw it:

The city, the buildings, the river, the boats, the lovers, the sunset, the rolling hills, the humming markets, the newborns, the dying, the mud, the puddles, the gates, the windows, the bookshelves, the hands, the paintings.

I saw it, and I felt the dust, the noise, the rain, the sun, the breeze, the touch, the smells. I felt the pumping life.

And in the vibrant scene, I saw you, and I felt you walking with me, steadfast by my bleeding side.  There was no help in the prairies, the open. There was only distance. But here, there were walls to catch and reflect the light, ground strong enough to fall on and get back up, and there was you, the brightest, strongest of all.

After the last passionate gulp and bite, we left again, into the vast prairies. But nothing would ever be the same after today, would it.

We had dined with Jesus, with each other.

Remember.

It’s not what you think it is.