This is part 4 of the series “God’s love is the Greatest Love.” For the previous post, click here. "But who knows what she spoke to the darkness, alone, in the bitter watches of the night, when all her life seemed shrinking, and the walls of her bower closing in about her, a hutch to trammel… Continue reading You’re Not As Alone as You Think
Over a month ago, I read some comments on a Facebook post discussing the damaging effects of vaccines. As is common with all vaccine-related discussions, the comments were awash with both sides of the debate. There is always someone bashing "anti-vaxxers" as being anti-science/stupid/ignorant/hateful/child-abusers/fill-in-the-blank-with-an-insult. One comment read, "I would rather live with a child that has autism than to have my child die of whooping cough."
Every congregation has a core---an unofficial group of members who show up to nearly every function, work party, moving help, or bible class. These are the folks who are actively involved in the church in whatever capacity they are suited to. Sometimes they are noticed, sometimes not, but they are familiar, reliable faces and their absence is felt if not always acknowledged. No matter what the situation, our congregations should seek to expand this core, bringing the fringe members in so that there is no longer a core, but rather an entire group that works together as a family. This begins with building meaningful relationships.
For people like me who wage a daily war with depression, there is a phrase that pops up every so often, and we grow weary of saying it: "I'm depressed... Again." It's frustrating, upsetting, and draining. "Will this ever completely disappear? Surely people are sick of my black cloud... I know I am." You know you have to face the day again tomorrow. You know you'll likely wonder why you bothered to get out of bed. You feel like nobody cares. There is One who always cares. He already knows you're hurting. He holds all your tears in a bottle. He watches the ongoing fight.
Imagine for a moment being on end-of-life care or severely immobilized. You're stuck in a wheelchair or confined to a hospital bed. You have no driver's license. You don't have the physical capability to get around town at all. You feel like a caged bird. A world that used to brim with possibility is now beyond reach. You can't sally forth on a new adventure unless someone is willing to take you along. You feel stuck. Alone. Helpless.