I think it’s safe to say that most of the time when I blog, I’m writing about something in the church that rubs me the wrong way, something that I see could use a little improvement. Then I challenge you to think and do something about it.
Today I’m going to depart from that routine a bit in order to tell you what you do well. As many of you know, my father passed away last week after a severe stroke. It was his second stroke in the span of only a year. Almost immediately after I got the call from my brother about this most recent stroke, I sent out emails and Facebook status updates about my father’s condition. I was showered with messages of concerns and promises of prayer.
During the two weeks that followed, I was almost overwhelmed by the all the phone calls, emails and Facebook messages I received. After my father’s passing, friends and colleagues called, emailed, sent flowers and some even attended his funeral and wake. I felt wrapped in “… the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,” (NRSV, Philippians 4:7) Thank you all for that love and support. I will be eternally grateful.
In the midst of all of this, it occurred to me that this is an example of the “church” at its best. Now, not all the people who expressed concern are church goers; some of them are not believers in God. But, I don’t think that matters much. I believe (and they don’t all have to agree with me) that these many people were being led by the Holy Spirit to show care and concern for me and my family.
This is truly when “church” is at it’s best — when we use our diverse “members” and their gifts to offer love and support to those who are hurting. All I can say is: Do more of this! Extend that same heartfelt support to friends, neighbors and even strangers. In doing this, you are answering God’s call to spread the peace that surpasses understanding.