Patience, soul. Here is a piece of perspective in the chaos of the Christmas season.
Goodbye, hunger. Here we will break bread and share a meal.
I invite you to my table.
The kitchen table-top.
Here, on the counter, is a postcard. The postcard stares. Stares into the soul. (Note: a stare is not a glare, it’s a ‘fixed’ gaze). The photo faces upwards on that table, in the place where food preparation occurs, and this postcard holds the ingredients for a new meal.
Serve this perspective onto your plate.
A child, innocent, cautious, with powerful brown-gooey eyes.
The postcard sits where the food had been this morning. It seems wrong to place matters of the heart where the grocery hauls go. Let’s move the card, make some room. But, wait. What lies underneath? There, on the back. The back is revealing. The back creates some room for this new perspective.
Enter: a new notion, a new motion of mind.
“I met Verkis on a back road in Burundi. We’d stopped for a bread roll lunch. I saw Verkis, and how hungry he was… and gave him my roll. He took a bite – then stopped. The translator asked why. Verkis said the rest was for his family.”
There. On the back. The words. The true depth of soul in that stare is the story of that stare. It is once you turn over the truth that voice is given to the vulnerable reality.
In turning over truth sight comes to blind judgements, those associated with exterior-based stares. Here – in the truth, in the story, in the voice, in the sight – is the interior-based stare, where there is true depth and insight into the soul.
Let’s slice this into small portions of perspective.
First, there is a meeting, a greeting. An invitation and introduction.
Second, there is a naming. Verkis. Giving an identity to that image.
Third, there is a placing. The back road. The locating of the meeting. Burundi.
Fourth, there is insight. A reflection on reality.
Enter my vision, see: I saw.
An invitation, see: He is hungry.
Fifth, there is a response to the reality. The invitation requests an RSVP. The answer? A bread roll.
A gift, see: He gave.
Sixth, there is the reception of the gift. A bite.
Let us stop too.
There it is. Seventh, there is the sharing of the gift. The nourishment flows to the family.
Serve this perspective onto your plate.
Food for the soul.
For when we allow our souls to stare, we can enter into the truth that satisfies our deep cravings and needs. And, it doesn’t end there. If we truly allow our souls to stare, then not only do we stop and see, stop and receive – but we can also stop and share.
We are all hungry, and we can all learn something from Verkis:
- We can learn from Verkis, with the soul that stares.
- We can learn from Verkis, who didn’t request or expect to be fed.
- We can learn from Verkis, who was in need, but who waited.
- We can learn from Verkis, who doesn’t indulge at the first invitation to eat, the first offering of food.
- We can learn from Verkis, who was in need, but who still thought to feed others in need.
- We can learn from Verkis, who gifted his gift.
- We can learn from Verkis, who shared his soul food.
It’s about the attitude and posture of the soul. How do we approach the hungers we feel for ‘more’? Do we really need more? What do we do with our need? What do we do with out more? Do we ever receive and share?
It’s all about that soul-stare, when somebody stops and cares, stops and shares.
It’s the story of the soul: stare, care, share.
For the reality is: All have soul. All have story. All have voice. All need to see. All need to receive. All need to give. All are hungry. All are like Verkis. We may not be physically hungry. But we are spiritually hungry. All want to feed, to meet those empty needs. Yet all need to stop, stare, stop, care, stop, share. We all need to fight the greed, and empty the soul.
But how to fight the greed? How to deny the cravings and the need when the hunger is there? Here is why we celebrate Christmas – the coming of a new creation, a new way of life. For Christ came to empty us of need.
We must wait for the right feed to fill our souls.
We must feed on truth.
All can feed on the Bread and Blood of Jesus Christ to receive this nourishing Life.
It’s an invitation to believe and to receive.
Here we will break bread and share a meal. For the invitation has arrived, the call to come to the table of Life. He asks us now: Come. I am the Bread of Life. I am all that you need. I am what you hunger and thirst for. For Jesus’ body was broken, and his blood was shed at the Cross.
Jesus has sliced a new perspective for your plate and carved a new creation. He has prepared and provided everlasting food for your soul. He speaks to us now: Come. Receive my gift of Life. Come to my table, that I have prepared for you in advance. I will provide. Just, come. Come as you are.
There’s the joy:
partaking in THE gift.
The gift of Life.
The greater joy:
sharing THIS gift.
The gift of Life is waiting.
See Christmas is a time of giving, not just receiving.
For the greatest gift has already been received, so what more is there that we need?
We can learn from Verkis, who lives communion. As Verkis focused on collectivism not individualism, he found communion is the food that both produces and provides life. For we are not alone. Not physically, not spiritually. When we begin to truly grasp this, we have two options: perceive communion with others as a threat, or an opportunity.
This is a call to communion. A call to come.
I invite you to my kitchen table. I invite you to Jesus’ table.
Come to the table.
Take some bread.
This is the story.
This is the soul.
It’s the story of the soul:
stare, care, share.
It’s an invitation:
It’s soul food:
It’s a gift.
So Verkis. His family. Burundi. The postcard is on the fridge now, as the face of true hunger. This postcard was received from an international aid and development program, and is a true story. Read more over at Australian Lutheran World Service (ALWS). These guys are raising funds to support those in Burundi as the nation is currently facing extreme cases of trauma and violence.