Monday, December 17, 2007

"Are You the One?"

I'd received word from Penny's mom that there were other girls at the eating disorder center who wanted Communion on Sunday. Penny, it seems, has not been at all timid about sharing her faith with her peers. I arrived on time, with abundant wine and bread. Communed five young women who looked healthier than those I'd glimpsed the week before. As we shared the Peace, a Chinese girl who appeared to be in her mid-twenties clung to me; she was so appreciative that I'd come.

Penny is doing well enough that she's being discharged this coming Friday rather than the anticipated discharge date of 12/27.

When I was leaving, we were standing in front of the reception desk saying goodbye and it was taking a while because Penny is such a chatterbox.

Out of the corner of my eye I see that the person at the reception desk is irritated at us and I can't think why. Penny talks on, the reception person glowers, and finally interrupts to say, "I'm sorry. You can't be here. Visiting hours are not until 3:30. I just had to chase a father away." I quickly apologized, saying I didn't know the rules, that I'd just come to bring Communion and I would leave immediately.

"Communion?" she interrupts. "Are you the one?"

The day's Gospel lesson somehow echoing in my head, I affirm that I am, indeed, "the one."

With that the tears form in her eyes. "Can I have some?" she asks and then goes on, "My father is dying and I have been so busy trying to do Christmas for my kids and I wanted to go to 7:00 Mass this morning and couldn't. Oh, can I have some?"

I tell her, of course she can, but she needs to know I am Lutheran, not Catholic.

"Oh, I don't care!" she exclaims. "Just let me have it."

And so I do.

9 comments:

P.S. an after-thought said...

Wow, you were where you needed to be.

Karen said...

Nancy, that is a precious story. Thanks for sharing it with all of us.

Karen

Juliann in WA said...

Thank you so much for taking time to post this - what a blessing.

Susan said...

Nancy, it's so great that you were in the right place at the right time. =)

Laurie Ann said...

What a blessing!!

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

You're the one! I just love this...

Suzan said...

I cannot begin to tell you how your story moved me. Praise be!

Anonymous said...

I visited Penny yesterday. As I was leaving, she shared her discharge date with the Asian woman you referred to. While the woman was happy for Penny, she said, somewhat regretfully "no more communion, then?" Your ministry has been much appreciated by those truly hungering and thirsting.

Penny's mom

Little Mysteries said...

Nancy you are an amazing woman. Thanks for sharing.