Nov 28, 2018

The Half Life of Life: 34 of 68

In 1984 I hit bottom.

One night just before Thanksgiving, while working in my studio/duplex, I saw myself dancing in a slow, descending circle with the Author of Death himself. I fell to my knees and reached up to the bookshelf in desperation. I took down my previously seldom opened Book of Common Prayer that my grandmother had given me. I opened it ‘blindly’ to the martyred Archbishop Thomas Cranmer's "Prayer of Humble Access" and prayed...

"We do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord whose property is always to have mercy. Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body, and our souls washed through his most precious blood, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen."

The following Sunday, I went up to visit my parents and to make my semi-annual church visit, with them. I sat in the pew and fought back tears. Above the altar at St. Luke's, Denison, Texas, is a stained glass with the awkward quotation from the Gospel of Luke (18:16), "Suffer the little children to come unto me..." Right then and there I asked Jesus to help me. “I’m a child. I’m suffering. I can’t do this by myself, without you. If you’ll have me, I’m yours.” I gave myself to Him as I told Him that I was powerless to do otherwise.

 Waiting my turn, I went up to receive Holy Communion with my folks.

Kneeling, I received the Host ("This is the body of our Lord, Jesus Christ, given for you."), a small wafer of unleavened bread. Then I received the Chalice of wine to my lips ("This is the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, shed for you."). I felt a powerful surge of pure energy enter my body. Time appeared to stand still. The entire Sanctuary was filled with a white light that made the dark stained wood walls appear translucent and milky. What seemed to be several minutes was in reality a few seconds, as the chalice bearer moved on to the next communicate. I had come out of the water and breathed my first new breath.