I don’t always get to see it, but it sure is inspiring when I do. Sometimes I think churches lose sight of their purpose. Some will become so consumed with orthodoxy and ambiguous doctrinal matters that they completely forget to be pratient, forgiving, and loving towards each other. They also seem to forget that the church is about more than coming together on Sunday morning to sing songs, pray, and listen to a sermon.
Last Sunday as the sermon concluded, one of the men stood up to the microphone and asked for volunteers who could help a lady move. She had been evicted from her house and needed to get her possessions out until she could find a permanent place to stay. You never know how many people will be able to show up for something like that, but I was available and I even had my pickup with me.
I was really happy to see that a whole bunch of men showed up. Many with pickups and trailers, and in the matter of a couple hours the stuff was moved. It is incredible what can be accomplished when people work together. It would have taken that woman and her kids days to do what we were able to do in just a couple hours. It would have also cost her all sorts of money that she didn’t have. Instead, I think we had fun and felt good as we worshipped our God through our service.
I suppose we helped her out, but as I thought about it more I thought how she was really helping all of us out. It’s degrading to have to ask for help; nobody wants to be a burden to others. We like to pride ourselves in our self sufficiency and as a result we lose sight of something incredibly powerful and even beautiful.
I think all of us know how difficult it can be to move. Sometimes you can get help, other times you can’t. But when the church comes together to help somebody it is rarely a burdin. In fact, I can’t remember a single time when the church has come together to help somebody in need that it wasn’t an enjoyable experience. It was a blessing straight from the creator. Everybody seems to work together each doing the tasks that they are suited for. Some will bring food, some will socialize, some will do the lifting, some will direct traffic, some will put together furniture, and everybody seems to have good time doing it. The job gets done, God is glorified, and people are blessed. That’s the church in action.
I’ve been the receiver and I’ve been the giver. Even though it is better to give than receive, all are blessed by the process, and all have God to thank. Little acts of kindness are so very important in helping people through what could have been a very difficult experience.
I’ve seen it a thousand times in a thousand different ways and each time I have been blessed and inspired. It doesn’t matter if it’s helping a person move, repairing damage after a tornado, building a house of worship, or helping a young couple to get on their feet. The church is at it’s best when it leaves the building and gets to work.