Saturday, 3 April 2010

Communion with Chocolate

My week began and ended with a student in tears. The first was my fault, the last not -Wednesday was handled badly and with an e-mail, Friday by tissues and chocolate.

The former speaks English really well but ONLY wanted to converse in French, the latter speaks English like someone who can’t but INSISTED on using it.

I have reached the weekend drained; emotionally - and of chocolate.

Actually, it wasn’t MY chocolate but Rachel’s – the boss. She has a stash in her office for use both emergency and casual so when I saw Friday’s tears I called her in, clearly a feminine touch was needed.

She offered me some, even though I wasn’t crying but I said no – I am ‘lenting’ until Sunday.

When I tell people this, as I did on the way home stopping to pick up wayward daughter and be offered a slice of birthday cake, they ask if I am religious.

Although on my school report of 1969 I apparently achieved 83 per cent in the Religious Instruction exam, I answer no.

I WAS - once, heavily – born again and offering testament to all and sundry – though mainly to my parents who were, in my adolescent eyes, clearly dammed; especially my dad.

After a year or so, I must have been about 14 when the spirit took me, I realised, suddenly, that I only ever prayed just before exams.

I checked the readings of the New Testament once more and I came to the conclusion that this was not exactly what the Lord had intended when he/she invented kneeling and clasping hand together.

So as an experiment I decided to see if I could pass an exam without praying. I wasn’t testing the lord, I knew better than that (I’m no fool, I had read Genesis!) it was just that I felt hypocritical and either had to get down on my knees a lot more earnestly, or stand up.

I found myself down on my knees in Rachel’s office when she offered me the chocolate – her office is small and if you sit in the only other chair you can’t see her computer screen, if you stand next to her it feels intimidating as you peer down. She is diminutive of statue I am whatever the opposite is, tall probably, so kneeling alongside brings our heads level with what we are looking at.

It was at that moment she offered me the chocolate.

It felt like a moment of Communion.

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