I was once told a story about the devotion of some Catholic priests on ships during World War II to the Eucharist. It seems that sometimes they would have Sunday mass during a particularly bad storm and some the sailors, who had just taken communion would get sick and vomit. Stories are told of priests who were so concerned about the proper treatment of Eucharist, that they would eat the sailor’s vomit.
For several years I simply thought it was a case of exaggerated devotion to a symbol, and that could easy be correct. I honestly do not know. But recently I think the Lord brought that to mind to show me His great love for me.
I was preparing to speak to a close friend about Jesus’ love for me and could not find any way that even came close to doing His love justice. I was exasperated and discouraged when the above story came to me and the thought in my mind was, “I was the vomit.”
You see, me and my life, without Jesus, is vomit. I am vomit without Jesus. It is true. The good I do is vanity, and the evil I do is immeasurable. Me in this world without Jesus is well represented by vomit on the ground.
Jesus saw me lying there as a pile of vomit, and He reached down, and while I was yet disgusting, ate me. He tasted all the bitterness of my past. He knew the disgustingness of my life and the horror of my sins. He knew that I was full of sickness and filth and all the disease that rest in the stomach of an evil world, and He took me in He tasted me, and ate me, and took all my disgust into himself.
Yes Jesus knew that I was vomit, but He made me part of His glorified body. why, I do not know. I know this world is full of piles of vomit, and I have no idea why He chose to eat me and taste my horror, but He did.
And then, in my life, I was foolish enough to sin over and over and over and Jesus eats my vomit again, and again, and again. His love is so unimaginable to me. How can He do it? And He knows He is going to have to do it again, and still loves me and stays with me.
And now I hear Him say, “Love one another, as I have loved you.” Lord, help me to eat the vomit of the lives around me, as You have eaten the vomit that is me.