It had been eight weeks since we’ve been to church. Due to some powerful medications, my husband’s energy level has improved and the pain is well-maintained. So, on the anniversary of his 74th birthday, we made it to the 8:00am service!
We were greeted with a very animated WELCOME! at the entrance to the church, with hugs and smiles all around. That greeter knows who she is, and she should be proud to know that in doing His work with such zeal, we were immediately wrapped in the warmth of our church family and felt that comfort as we took our seats in “our pew”. Of course our pew had been taken over by another couple during our absence, but when they saw us, they graciously gave it up, with more smiles and more hugs.
We had arrived early, and listened as the bell choir rehearsed their rousing piece. I watched as the choir made their way to the choir loft, and exchanged a wave and a knowing smile with one, which spoke volumes, as she knew my story and I knew hers.
I like to meditate on the beautiful stained glass window that rises above the altar, with a beautiful depiction of Jesus. The light hits the panes of glass at that early hour, and the window glows, as if His spirit is filling the place, right on time. I could feel my back relax into the back of the pew, and a big sigh of relief as the realization that we had made it to church began to set in. My husband had feared that he would not see this birthday, nor would he be able to attend church any longer, but the modern miracle of medicine, bolstered with the power of prayer, proved him wrong.
Numerous friends patted my husband’s back as they came into church, and the men joked with him, as they always do, but this time it felt a little different. He knew he had been missed, and he felt the sincerity of their friendship.
The Pastor’s sermon was heartfelt, and of course, I felt that he had written it just for me. I wondered to myself what my husband might be thinking as he listened to that gospel. I took communion at the altar and the Pastor smiled into my eyes as he spoke the words, “This is the body of Christ given for you.” I responded, “Amen”, and in that moment remembered the Pastor’s comfort and prayers over my husband while he was in the hospital a month before. Pastor brought communion to my husband, right where he was sitting, and my heart filled with grief and joy, all at the same time.
The choir sang a beautiful rendition of Jesus Loves Me and their powerful voices filled me up with all sorts of emotions, which began to leak out of my face in the shape of tears. I looked over my shoulder at one of my friends, perhaps hoping she would stick her tongue out at me, so I would stop blubbering, but no such luck. My husband asked, “What is the matter with you?” (As if he didn’t have a clue!) And I said, “Nothing!” He said, “Well quit crying then!”
They say that none of us have ever seen God. But when we love one another and we act in loving kindness to one another, God is in us and we see Him in those works. Well, I saw God loud and clear today, and I am truly blessed! Amen!