30 Days of Stories: Day 10

It was April 2012. I’d just had my heart busted to smithereens and I was hurting everywhere. I wasn’t used to coming to New Community, but I knew I had to do something – anything – to keep from going home and feeling the ache in the silence. I could handle the ache in a crowd, and I could certainly stand to be around a few people who loved Jesus. There happened to be a crowd of those folks gathering at my church that night, for community and communion. So I went.

You know, the odd thing about grief is that it can feel both endlessly hollow and unbearably heavy in the very same moment. When it came time to take Communion that night, I couldn’t walk forward. I couldn’t even stand. And it’s not like I would’ve had far to go – I was sitting on the third pew from the front. But I couldn’t move. This is the story of what happened next.


Someday you may find yourself too weak to rise, too weary to walk forward and do this in remembrance of Him.

The gaping hole in your chest meant to hold reverence and gratitude for this act of worship instead holds thorns and broken bone bits of pain, and you somehow feel it’s not right to partake in the Sacrament when all you have to offer in return is your own broken body, your own spilling blood.

So instead, the Body and the Blood, they come to you.

A sister’s strong hands wrap around your shoulders, hold you as you weep. She waits for the Spirit and begins to pray, prayers for protection against doubt and confusion – but did she know that those very enemies were keeping you glued to the seat? Prayers for a realization of your worth in Him – had she heard you just now, questioning that very thing? Prayers for strength for a soul perched feebly on the edge of giving in to the difficulty of it all. Prayers for things so desperately, so specifically needed.


This is the great wonder of Jesus: that He finds the bruised reed clutching her half-smashed mustard seed, and He covers her, protects her.

Three strong men, godly men, join to pray for this and so many other needs, lifting each other up, agreeing with one another and the Spirit. One stays behind to pray Psalm 36 over me, prays to remind me of God’s steadfast love. Steadfast. I have somehow always expected His love to change with my circumstances, this set in particular. But it is steadfast and unfailing, and He has sent this sister and these brothers to help me remember, to let me know He is near. And I find myself able to rise up, to walk.

“How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.” Psalm 36:7-9


andreaToday’s story is by Andrea Alford.

Andrea serves on the worship team at FN and has a lovely daughter, Livi. This post was originally published on her blog, Unsearchable Things.


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