Four years ago Sean and I left our old church. The split was painful and disillusioning. I thought I would be serving the Lord with these people for a very long time. Words like "respect" and "offense" were carelessly thrown about. It's difficult to reconcile the walk not lining up with the talk.
To me, church is a place where you can take a deep breath. A place that represents the unconditional love that Jesus is. Now, I know people get in the way, I really do. But, it's supposed to be a place where people treat you differently. It's meant to be a safe harbor of sorts.
Fast forward to the present day. Sean and I in choosing a church picked the polar opposite of where we had just left. Where it was once tiny, now it's large. It's kind of easy to get lost in. And that's just what we did for three years. But, God slowly started to lead the way and we started serving in small ways. Then Sean's illness came along. And people really rallied to our side. People in that church called me and sat with me and pulled me through.
That help was probably never more prevalent until the day I moved. I felt unprepared and overwhelmed. It was such a big undertaking for me to do alone. But, alone was NOT what I was that day. What was the weirdest thing was that people seemed to do it with a joyful heart. I don't think I saw a single eyeroll or heard a sigh in frustration. They showed up. They came with strong backs and laughter and they reached out to someone who utterly could not do ONE thing for herself that day. And, to me, there was church service that day.
Now my only problem is really how to thank them. They will never know how very much I appreciated that my bed and those of my children were made, my kitchen was put away, furniture was moved and moved again, that whenever I said, "Have you seen my children?" someone always had. My pantry is stocked and organized and whenever I go in there, I think, "that's exactly where I would have put that." When I think back to that day, my heart gets full and it's something I won't soon forget.
They were literally His hands and feet that day. It didn't matter that we didn't meet in a building, that a collection wasn't raised, that worship songs weren't sung, He was praised. And I'm just so glad I got to be a part of that.