I talked to a woman during the greeting time at church today.
You know…when we usually take two seconds to say “How are you?”……”Fine.”
It’s not bad. I’m just wanting to go deeper. Because so many of us are just plain not fine.
She said she was just diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. And her muscles were deteriorating. I said I was sorry and we would be praying for her.
We sat down and I looked over at her. And I thought – what if I was sitting in her seat?
And all of these hurting people are sitting next to us. And living next to us.
And I wonder so many days what difference we are making. But even if it was just Sunday – JUST ONE DAY with one fresh drink of truth water to their souls – we matter. The church matters. Because the one thing we have left to give when the world has gone dry is Him. And until we walk the parched land, we have no idea how good that water is.
When “diagnosis” is your daily thing, church becomes your lighthouse.
Many people – many people dread being at home. I was one of them. Routine is not always life-giving when it’s taking the life out of you. Caring for someone who cannot care for themselves. There are so many caregivers out there and it is a daily cry for strength. So when change happens – even the little things – it’s like the prison door opened.
Sunday is that change for some. Or Saturday night. Or Wednesday night. And we are a part of it.
That’s powerful. For tangible matter-of-fact ministry. Because encouragement can be everything when you carry a heavy load during the week. And one more week without it can be devastating.
We are talking a lot about getting outside the walls and loving the world. Hooray for that. But inside the walls? God is still bringing them. He’s bringing us. Wooing us. To Him. To Community. Because we are His lighthouse. Calling the hurting, the lonely, the diagnosed like a beacon to the shores of His love. And the person He’s wooing? They may have sat next to you today.
I have a friend who can’t wait to get to church on Sunday. I know what her days are like.
And so many of us take the church for granted. The music, the sermon….the _________ just wasn’t on today. While others are rushing in the doors and hoping if they stay just a little longer after the music has stopped…..if they will be asked to leave.
What if we went to church next time with just one question: Who is hurting?
Because Sunday School will happen again, and we can greet 10 more people later….but the time we wholly give to one hurting soul matters.
And church….. As long as the world is turning, God is wooing. We think we do all the work to “get them in the church.” If we never made one more marketing pamphlet, they would still come. Because they will still hurt and He will still move. I know the statistics. Many will not enter a church for various reasons. But many will.
They are coming for Him.
Let’s keep the light on for them.