He stumbled out of bed, cautiously transferring weight onto stiff joints. He made his way in the dark to the bathroom, flipped on the dim light. He reached for his electric razor and it fell apart in his hands. The head came off the main component. Whiskers from previous days spilled all over the bathroom counter. It looked like static, the white counter with thousands of black dots speckling the surface.
This was a foretaste of the day to come. Everything was apart, in pieces, fractured. Everything seemed apart – divorced and divided, severed and separated. His socks were all mismatched, no two were alike. He flipped on the TV to the agitating sound of cable news anchors. Relentless battles in Washington, more division in city hall. He opened the newspaper to find a front page article on his church body bickering – a division about whether a pastor should speak in mixed company. Everything was apart.
He walked into an office of cubicles where everyone was apart, walled off in a maze of sound absorbent panels. Physically and philosophically, his co-workers were apart. There was harsh disagreement over how a project should be run. At lunchtime his sister called him. “You should call your brother,” she said. “He needs to hear from you. You’re older.” He hadn’t talked to his brother in six months. It was easier to ignore the words they spoke in the driveway last summer. Everything was apart.
He picked up his daughter from school. He noticed a huddle of black students on the steps leading up to the front door. At the base of the steps was a picnic table occupied by a cluster of white students. A few Asian students walked together down the sidewalk. Everyone was apart.
His daughter opened the door and sat in the passenger seat. After a “hello,” there were two minutes of silence broken by the most pointed question he ever heard. “Why are you and mom living apart?” The question reasserted the pain in his marriage. More painful was that his daughter asked the question. His little girl, torn apart by their inability to reconcile. Everything was apart – divorced and divided, severed and separated.
It was Thursday, Maundy Thursday. He usually went to church on Easter, but he knew there was a Thursday service that celebrated the Last Supper of the Lord. He felt a strange compulsion to go. “Could there be something?” he thought. So he went. Sat alone in the back, in a darkened corner. It dawned on him that he was very different than most of these people. Maybe they were all different. There was no reason for all these people to be gathered in one place. No good reason except
. . . except for One.
He listened to the words of a hymn, “One bread, one body, one Lord of all. One cup of blessing which we bless. And we though many, through all the earth, we are one body in this one Lord.” Everything was apart, except this one thing. He held out his hands and took one piece of bread. One sip of wine. With everything that was apart, there was this one man holding everything together. One sacrificial act that pulled together everything that was broken apart. He felt a single tear make its way down his whiskered cheek. He would need to get a new razor. He walked out of worship that Thursday evening, and he called his wife.