Reading a book is one of the easiest ways of travelling. Without physically moving you can explore new worlds and new opinions, you get to know new people and simple learn. Since I graduated and came back from the States I have been reading more again than I read in while, which I am pretty happy about. Every once in a while you pick up a book and you know after a few pages that it is going to change you in a way that you might not have anticipated, but you welcome the feeling of being touched.
So this weekend I finished a book by Andrew White. He is a pastor in the Anglican church. In the book he describes his work for St. George’s church in Baghdad. Reconciliation and simply caring for those that need it most. But also a reality of bombs, attacks and constant threat. What struck me most was a passage about the Holy Communion. In his book, he described it as a moment in which all members of the community from different backgrounds come together and share the past, present and future.
Today we celebrated the same sacrament in my church. It doesn’t happen that often. On the one hand I would love to take more time in church and do this every week or every month, but by taking time once in a while, it seems more intense. You really pay attention in that moment. While I was sitting at that table, I couldn’t keep my thoughts away from the church in Baghdad. I have no idea what it must be like to live there under such circumstances, however it wasn’t just sharing a sense of suffering, but most of all a sense of community with brothers and sisters very far away.
When I recently heard the pastor speak at the Justice Conference in the Netherlands, he brought a little olive wood cross from one of the children as a symbol of love. I have one of those crosses as well in my room. Today I thinking about it and holding it in the palm of my hand and think about the children in the Middle East.