in a couple of weeks I am going to be preaching and using a tale about flowers in the desert. I am reading a book called “On which side of the road do the flowers grow” about ordinary Christians in an ordinary congregation doing extraordinary things through Christ. Stories of transformation, of healing, of love, of death, of changes in heart, addictions removed, addictions returned. Messy people in messy situations but who had a very real personal relationship with the Lord.
On another blog, I found this sometime ago (2010) and it is now time to share:
First I was invited to one of my favourite couples (don’t tell the congregation I have favourites…it probably isn’t ethical). When we arrived at their house, we slowly realized they’d been burglarised while we were at church.
Fortunately not much was taken, but we were just a wee bit shaken. I tried to get my best comedy on though and keep the mood light—I described the episode of the Middle when the neighbor thinks the family has been robbed but really they just left the house a mess. It is a classic episode (and probably a foreshadowing of my own life). Despite the crime—it was an absolutely wonderful afternoon with two people who love the Lord and with whom I enjoy spending my time.
I was invited to that lunch, but had to be some place else, i.e. home, so I didn’t go. I don’t know how I would’ve reacted, possibly with humour like the blogger above. But most importantly I do concur with bloggeress K that the couple is absolutely one of my favourites in the congregation. (and not because I know that one of them reads this)
When I first arrived in Killarney church it was small conversations with this couple that drew me slowly into the family of believers that worship in our church. It was this couple who on Wednesday nights dragged words out of my shyly reticent body, it was in their company I first prayed extemporily albeit very quietly and quickly. And the very first time I sang unaccompanied for the first time in thirty years was with these people at my side.
So I know there is love shared among us and I would never be offended by anything they said. There is more to our journey which has included admonishment, tears and laughter, it has included conflict and resolution but all done within the boundaries of love.
Today I was approached and quite rightly was lovingly admonished for an oversight on my part and all I could think was how much I love this woman who cares for me enough to help me keep on a straight path. I am hoping I have righted the wrong and I am grateful to her for pointing it out.
As we grow in our faith, as we mature in our Christian walk we have these people who help us, encourage us, challenge and love us. We need these people, no one is ever good enough to walk alone. We are bound together by the love of God. This man and woman are flowers in my life blooming in their faith and helping me bloom in mine. God is in this mix, he is in our relationship. God is love, His the care. We are His care. Together side by side we are the body of Christ and we bloom where we are planted, together creating a beautiful bouquet with a pleasing aroma for the Lord.