I had a cold. Often, when people have colds, they clasp their hands together during the part of the church service when everyone else is reaching out to each other–the Peace (Romans 16:16, 2 Corinthians 13:12, 1 Peter 5:14)–and say, “Oh no, I’m sick. Don’t want to infect you!” or, holding up a hand as a stop, “Don’t touch me, I’m sick!”
Four years, ago, at an early morning weekday Eucharist, I did exactly that; “No no, I have a cold, don’t get too close!” And my friend ignored me. He said, “If we can’t share the peace whether we’re ill or not, what can we share?” And he gave me a hug.
That’s being a vessel of God’s love to each other.
Both before and after that moment, I took classes with this friend. We probably had dozens of other conversations, but I don’t specifically remember any one of them, just that one. Though I haven’t seen him in years, I still remember that moment, and anytime he’s mentioned, that’s the one thing I recall.
May we all being such willing vessels of God’s love.