Communion And the Voice of God

A tribute to Gail Pennau.

On Sunday last, Deb and I took communion to our dear friend Gail. She has pancreatic cancer. Her daughters and grandchildren are helping her to face these last few days of physical life with dignity and quiet holiness. It is a joy to witness the quiet love being shared in that little house on West Bent Street.

Upon our arrival there were friends and family, hot tea and desert. In a while we all went to the rear of the house where Gail rests in her bed. It’s a small room but we all stand and sit in a circle around our dear sweet sister, mother and friend. A prayer is said and we break bread together remembering the incarnate Christ. The cup is blessed, then sipped in admiration of a love demonstrated in sacrifice. Jesus is at the center of this cup and bread and further yet, He is at the center of our aching hearts.

We know our time with Gail is numbered. And of couse all our days are numbered but it is so profoundly evident concerning our dear sweet Gail. We cherish each moment. In that little room we pray together about our thanks for Jesus and his love, then we prayerfully express to the Father how blessed we are to have had Gail in our midst these many years. It has been a most sacred of journeys together.

In this little ekklesia moment. (the Greek word for church…God’s called out ones)….in this moment we were called together to share a most intimate moment. I think I sensed more profoundly what the church is to be in that moment than any time in my recent past. God was speaking to us in the breaking of bread and the taking of the cup…….. and through the tenderness of our hearts.

Some day we will all sit at the banquet table of the Father in the city foursquare. And Gail, if it turns out you do arrive there before the rest of us, save us a seat near you, would you?

Emerging from these moments is a little verse I’ll just call,
“sips of grace”

little cup of juice….little piece of bread
a prayer and a song and peace like a river
tears and clasped hands
sweet fellowship of wounded hearts

words that mean less than the sound of the voice
and a room with naught but light and love
time moves strangely slow yet fast
we know her time is near

these days like woven strands
bind our hearts like tender sheaves
the time of frost is near
winter’s sleep will come

then Spring…blessed Spring
heaven’s table spread
a little cup of juice…a little piece of bread


About Gary Cleveland

An old chunk of coal waiting to become a diamond some day. I spend the bulk of my time focused on spiritual development. I teach, preach and stand by the hurting and wounded. I believe our heavenly Father offers us daily opportunities to discover who we are and what we can yet become. I serve as a bringer of good news in and around the city of Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
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1 Response to Communion And the Voice of God

  1. Ellen says:

    I haven’t read this in some time. Brings that sweet evening to front and center, as real and true as ever. So very thankful for that moment and these written memories that keep mom’s flame alive.

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