Monday, March 31, 2014

The Others

The sound of the church bells caught me by surprise. We stopped the car and rolled the windows down so the children could hear them too. It was 12 o'clock on a Thursday, and for a moment, I was reminded of my purpose. That sound isn't just bells tolling, it isn't just a church where people meet on Sunday morning. It's where two or three gather in His name, and He will be there also. It's where lives are mended, lives are changed. It's where the others are.

I began praying on Saturday for our Sunday service. There are days my little family just wants to stay home, become recluse, because the world points its finger saying we aren't like everyone else. I see more of the world some days, than I do Him. The Bible tells us that seclusion isn't the answer, it's not our purpose. We look forward to Sundays because for a couple of hours, we get to see the others.

Sitting on the pew Sunday was a welcomed relief. As soon as service started, I paused to invite Him once again, to let Him know I wanted His touch, I needed His touch, as did the others. People began moving around me but I could see nothing...and still everything. Bodies moved across the floor, voices stirred the air and warm tears filled my eyes. I needed each and every word, I needed each and every song, and The Sheppard was gathering His sheep. We moved as a herd under His protection but I know the old story in The Bible. We must leave the 99 in search of the one sheep lost, if we want to be more like Him...and that is why we are here. That is our purpose. As the voices climbed, I felt my back gain strength. This is why we need the others.

I watched her roll her wheelchair down the aisle. We often step effortless without thought, but her young hands are strong, and her arms move with purpose. Disappointment fell upon her face as the next song began before she could finish her trek and she carried that back down the aisle from where she'd come. The piano lifted its voice and the Angelic new song rescued the tired and weary. When it was over, she moved again. I saw the child's wheels move across the dark blue carpet and she was handed a microphone. With damp in her eyes and courage in her heart, she raised the words, "Jesus loves me" and before the rest could escape, she dropped her head. She lifted it again a little stronger than before and sang, "Jesus loves me this I know." Her little head fell again but each time she raised it a little more determined than before. Pretty soon, the whole church sang with her and she has no idea what she gave us this day.

The preaching was intense, capturing even the inattentive. Everything was falling into place as we were all in one mind, one accord. I had walked through the glass doors that morning, not intending to return that night. But something changed, we sat with the others.

to be continued...

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