We haven’t been to church in a very long time. But church, in the actions of some members, has come to us. And these people, for a large part, have come to this particular church since we haven’t been able to be there. Beyond friendship, they have shown the brotherhood and sisterhood that is supposed to be among Christians. As it says in James 2:14a-17: “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (NIV) So what does this “friendship plus” include? Here are some personal experiences:
Saturday mornings some men get together for Bible study. When they have finished their time in study, they help people who have things to be done that they just can’t do. They’ve cleaned our gutters, put in room air conditioners, some of which are heavy and the windows pretty high off the ground. They came and hung our new upper kitchen cabinets, a job that saved Hubs from injury. [His plan was to do it himself and that he couldn't was a hard thing to swallow]. They’ve raked leaves and toted them away. I’m sure there’s more I don’t remember; this has been over a period of a few years.
They bring communion (and conversation) when we can’t get to church. Some of these people, deacons in our church, we hadn’t met before the time in our living room on these Sundays. We have no social life anymore so these visits are truly precious. Almost as precious as the celebration of communion, the reason they are here.
One of the deacons came to visit me when I was in the hospital, another of the people I’d never met until communion visits at home. Such a blessing.
Hubs called while my visitor was there and told me about a job he was attempting; putting up molding under a 12’ span of windows. Our friend talked to him, said he and his son would be there soon and they were. Three people did the job.
When I have left the hospital, or been sick or injured, some of the women of the church have brought the family meals each day for several in a row, and occasionally after that. In the case of my ongoing back issue (hopefully it will be resolved tomorrow (9/9) when I see the orthopedic surgeon again) they have still brought meals on occasion.
And these homemade meals feed our family of three adults at least twice. This has happened many times over the years. We didn’t have to ask, we just got a phone call from one woman saying she’d lined up people to bring us dinner every night for ___ nights, always asking what is liked, disliked, if there are allergies.
I’m sure there are more ways these brothers and sisters of the church have shown their love and belief in people like me with invisible disabilities. I use a power wheelchair but a lot of people in the world out there don’t see why, except I’m very overweight. Yes, I’ve heard some comment to one another that must be why I have the chair. There has never been a question from these wonderful brothers and sisters. When I was well I was one who brought others meals, and I hope to be able to do so again. I know Hubs feels the same way.
Our adult son who has autism can’t do the things that these men have been able to do unless he is shown how. He is a visual learner. These men have taken him with them to do some things that he could be shown how to do and thus contribute himself. Few things make you feel better than making a difference in another’s life. He walks to church when weather and light allows. It’s difficult for both of us parents to drive and in cases it might be unsafe (dark, stormy) someone will give him a ride home. Thanks to their kindness he has been able to keep as active as he loves to be in the church.
Jeremiah 29:11 ”For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” NIV