Kneeling at the altar, waiting for communion, I asked God - "When did it become about 'so and so', instead of you?" Moments before I had been sitting with a very difficult visitor, our guest. Why on earth had he offered to come, when all he wanted to do was criticize? Usually I find our church a sanctuary of peace, but not that morning. I was on edge. I had lost my focus. I was getting angry.
As the chalice made its way to me I believe God gave me this picture. I drew it as soon as I got home and painted it a few days later. I am the tree. The roots symbolise being grounded in Christ. The trunk and branches are strong. Healthy, life giving fruit grows abundantly. The fruit bursts open and the most fragrant and delicate blossoms gently land on the people beneath. This is grace. Only through Christ could I extend grace to this difficult person.
I returned to my seat. Our guest continued to try to explain what was wrong with our theology to my daughter beside me. I sat with my eyes closed, still and focused while others received the Eucharist, and through Christ I extended grace prayerfully. The peace I felt was profound.