The journey from skeptical secularist to devout Christian was long, complicated, and often convoluted. Listen to Sara’s story:
“One early, cloudy morning when I was 46, I walked into a church, ate a piece of bread, took a sip of wine. A routine Sunday activity for tens of millions of Americans — except that up until that moment I’d led a thoroughly secular life, at best indifferent to religion, more often appalled by its fundamentalist crusades. This was my first communion. It changed everything.
“That impossible word, ‘Jesus,’ lodged in me like a crumb. Eating Jesus, as I did that day to my great astonishment, led me against all my expectations to a faith I’d scorned and work I’d never imagined. The mysterious sacrament turned out to be not a symbolic wafer at all, but actual food — indeed, the bread of life. In that shocking moment of communion filled with a deep desire to reach for and become part of a body, I realized what I’d been doing with my life all along was what I was meant to do: feed people.”
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AND SO SHE DID, compelled to find new ways to share what I’d experienced. She started a food pantry at the church. On Fridays the sanctuary is turned into something like a farmers market and literally tons of fruit and vegetables and cereal are piled around the same altar where she first received the body of Christ and given away.
She organized new pantries all over her city to provide hundreds and hundreds of hungry families with free groceries each week. She recruited scores of volunteers — many from those who were served and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Listen again to Sara:
“I stumbled into a radically inclusive faith centered on sacraments and action. What I found wasn’t about angels, or going to church, or trying to be ‘good’ in a pious, idealized way…. I was, as the prophet said, hungering and thirsting for righteousness. I found it at the eternal and material core of Christianity: body, blood, bread, wine poured out freely, shared by all. I discovered a religion rooted in the most ordinary yet subversive practice: a dinner table where everyone is welcome, where the poor, the despised and the outcasts are honored.
“And so I became a Christian, claiming a faith that many of my fellow believers want to exclude me from; following a God my unbelieving friends see as archaic superstition.”
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GOD CALLED and commissioned Paul through his grace.
God called and commissioned me through his grace.
God called and commissioned Sara through his grace.
God calls and commissions you through his grace.
— Keith Cardwell