Starlette McNeill: My Flesh and Blood

“My flesh and blood.”

I looked at my son as he lay sleeping one morning and those words came to mind. More than my next of kin, John is the closest person to me because he is the closest to being me.

I am not merely talking about resemblance and certainly not gender, but he is my flesh and my blood. We have shared a body and he has walked in my shoes before he took his first step. He knows what it is to be me because he came from me. I am his entrance into the world, his mother-door.

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While I understood the phrase “my flesh and blood” before becoming a mother, it became more evident after having a child. I was clear on the fact that my womb would become his first room and my ribs his bed. I accepted that I would share my food and drink, that his vote would become the majority when determining my taste buds, moods and sleeping patterns.

But, when he was born and I looked into his eyes and saw mine, I realized that I had given much more.

And as much as I am attempting to capture this realization with words, the alphabet does not possess enough manpower to catch the enigma. These characters fall short of explaining the revelation. They are inadequate to express the mystery because it is a deep knowing, a certainty shared with one who was tied to me by navel string.

My son knows me in a way that no one else ever will.

Sure, he knows which buttons to push and how to get his way but there’s more to it than that. A veiled knowledge, I can’t even tell you all that he knows. We have shared an experience that cannot be taken away from us. You would have to be my flesh and blood to understand it.

And so it is with Christ.

We are spiritually carried and reborn through the womb of baptism. Born again, Jesus is our Door. How amazing that he would make room for us in his body–that no one has to scoot over, that we don’t have to share, but that God has a place for each of us.

How remarkable that Christ, who is the living water and the bread of heaven, would share the divine delicacy of his word with us. We do eat from the very mouth of God. Growing in the Body of Christ, we are his flesh and blood.

How incredible that we are an expression of his flesh that was crucified and his blood that was shed for humanity. When Jesus, the Savior of the world, looks at us, he sees his next of kin.

This relationship is not one of fans or even followers. We are not in the stands cheering him on or standing in line to shake his hand or walking behind him but seated at the table with him. We are family members and the fact that we resemble him at all is a miracle.

I looked at my son and said, “My flesh and blood.” How utterly confounding that Christ looks at his Church, that Christ looks at you and me, and says, “My flesh and blood.” What amazing grace. Amen.

smcneill

Reverend Starlette McNeill serves as the Associate Pastor at Village Baptist Church in Bowie, Maryland. She is a wife, a lover of reading, writing and Starbucks and the mother of one amazing son, John.

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