I could tell you story after story, starting back from the time I was a little girl…
A bag full of groceries snuck in the backseat of our car during church.
An offer for free childcare during a season of night classes.
Church camp scholarship notifications year after year.
Trash bags crammed with hand-me-downs, always just the right sizes, and always at just the right time.
An envelope anonymously slipped in between the worn pages of her Bible when she wasn’t looking.
A timely word of encouragement, a listening ear, an understanding embrace.
This was the body of Christ in action as we humbly lived those unexpected years on the receiving end of grace.
This week I texted her to see if it was a good time to call. She quickly responded with a yes – as long as I didn’t mind a chorus of chattering little ones in the background. Not at all, I text back. If there’s one thing I understand, it’s that the phone is the universal signal for toddlers everywhere to come running. I won’t even hear them, I promise.
All these years later, it’s definitely my turn to give back.
We’re states away, so I can’t make her a meal or grab her kids for the afternoon. But I can listen, pray, and remind her of Truth that she’s already heard a million times before. That God is still on His throne and that He’s not surprised… truth that remains no matter what hospital tests reveal. I’ll call her again next week, because the battle won’t be over.
Another day – this time a coffee date – and she needs reminding that her marriage is worth fighting for. That we fight – not as the world does – but instead we choose to sacrificially pour into our sacred covenants because it’s a union designed by God, and it’s more than worth fighting for. As we talk we decide on regular check-ins, so that we won’t forget to keep fighting.
We’ve circled up on each other’s living room floors, squeezing hands tightly while crying out to Jesus on behalf of our children. We’re in this together, and so instead of judgment, we’ve offered grace, encouragement, and comforting words that confirm that we all feel weak from time to time, but that there’s great hope and power beyond what we can see.
There have been late night chats in college dorm rooms, pie-baking marathons in the name of church outreach, pre-chemo pedicures, and countless meals delivered after each new baby was born. We’ve raised hands high, side-by-side in celebration and in sweet worship together. And we’ve bent down low together – with no tears left to cry – begging God for mercy as we unexpectedly buried her young husband on that cold December day.
This is the body of Christ in action.
Some seasons spent on the receiving end, and others on the giving. Individually weak and imperfect, but when unified, so much stronger together.
We’re made up of different personalities.
The way we keep our homes – and even our fashion sense – is all over the place.
One girl’s weakness is another girl’s strength.
But we love Jesus and we’re practicing how to keep the main thing the main thing:
Just compassion to do good when we can, and enough courage to take the focus off of ourselves and promptly put it back onto Jesus. Over and over again, with help from each other.
The body of Christ… with Jesus at the center, you’d better believe that we’re stronger together.
“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people,
especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
~ Galatians 6:10
Because we’re stronger together, and because there’s a world that’s watching…
At His feet,
*LET’S TALK: Are you living compassionately and courageously within the body of Christ? If yes, how has that made you stronger? If no, what is holding you back?