This should be easy right? The church, for all its flaws, cares about those in its community really well, right? We love and share and comfort really well, right?
Well I think we can all agree that our call to love each other in the church is clear. We know it. I doubt anyone is surprised by the statement ‘you should love and care for the people in your home church’.
Moreover if asked I suspect we all think we do.
But be honest, it’s not always there is it? You’ve gone home and said ‘wow, I really thought they would care more about me losing my job/ family member passing/ tough week at work/ frustrating child’.
There is nothing wrong with those feelings. I bring it up to say that despite our best intentions we fail some times. We don’t love those in our community that we see in need the way we maybe should.
Sometimes we just don’t get it.
I found one of the greatest supports to me when I lost my job a few years ago were other people who had lost their job. They got how embarrassing it was. They understood how emotionally difficult it was to send out resume after resume and hear nothing back, essentially being reject 10, 15, 20 times a day. No one wanted me and only people who had been though it saw that pain right away.
So yes, we will miss, we won’t understand and we won’t love maybe the way we should. It happens even though it shouldn’t. I don’t want to focus on that this time though. I just wanted to say to those who feel it, I understand. But all we can control is what we do. All we can do is be the ones to start the love.
This story isn’t about the times we didn’t know better, understand the situation or act the way we should. This is a fantastic story of love.
Like I said I’m going to share stories I hear from different places about how amazing our community is. This is one.
A home church was sitting chatting near the end of a meeting. It was an unexpectedly small group of people that evening. The conversation drifted here and there. How do we love others, what does it look like, etc.
Then someone said ‘look it’s all fine and well, but we have lots of need here, in this group. I was talking last week with one of our members and she mentioned how they wouldn’t be having much of a Christmas this year. Moneys to tight and the kids may not get anything.’
And in that moment the group understood. Weather they knew it or not they chose to live the life of compassion. The conversation quickly turned to, well then what do WE do. Not some conversation about the theology of God providing or praying for someone to come and help. What do WE, her community, do?
‘We have some gift cards’ one family said.
‘I could run to the bank and get some money’ said another.
And that was it. They gave it all to one of the ladies present to pass along.
Love in action.
That’s a life of compassion. That’s how we love in community. A need was seen and a need was met.
How do we live a life of compassion in home church? Honest real interactions, bearing our joys and difficulties and as a family coming around our members to love them. Not talking about it but doing it.
Actions of love.
That’s how a life of compassion works in home church. Like all other spaces, in action.