12 May 13
I have early memories of my Dad telling me what a cold, uncaring place this world was, and how the only person I could rely on was myself. Dad had lived a pretty dark life. He drove whiskey cars delivering said product for his father starting around age 12. He rejected organized religion around this time because his two biggest deliveries were to the Methodist Minister and the Baptist Preacher. He joined the Marines, then spent the rest of his life as a salesman. Cars, boats, industry sales, it didn’t matter. He could run a line of talk that left you liking him and wanting to buy whatever he was selling. And at least for the time that I knew him, the products he represented were really good, quality merchandise. He believed in his stock.
I loved my Dad, and I am very glad that he found his faith in the Lord and at the time that he passed, he was saved and walking with God. His comments on the uncaring nature of this world were only partly correct though. If you pass through this fallen kingdom of the enemy without forming deep, spiritual relationships with people then how surprising is it that the people you do know don’t really walk beside you or truly care?
But when you become part of something that truly brings people from all walks and backgrounds together to work at the goal of following the Christ, then you build the kinds of relationships that set my Dad’s opinion on it’s ear and prove it wrong. I am reminded of this constantly by my Grace Church family. We aren’t just friends that happen to belong to the same church. When I need help with something, as long as I make the need known, there are more people willing to jump in and help out than I can count. And they know that anything I can do to help them, I will. But no one is keeping score. No tally sheets of who owes whom what are passed around. We are family.
This also means that there are some that don’t always get along, or have some disagreements with others in the family. Some have their favorite brothers and/or sisters, as well as the opposite. But when push comes to shove, we stand together against whatever may come.
One of my brothers made an offer today to provide more help than anyone could reasonably expect to be made. I held it together long enough to gain some privacy, but then I cried because I was moved by this man’s concern and love for my family and I. As the church, we are the bride of Christ. We are the body. And at Grace, that gets paid a lot more than simple lip-service.
We spent the afternoon at the house of a family that we have been getting close to lately. The more we get to know these people, the more we really like and respect them. Their boys are around Connor’s age and they all get along really well, and their daughter is close to Allyson and Bethany in age as well, and those three are a sight to see. We all had a wonderful meal, then spent some time talking and just having a relaxing afternoon in the sun watching the kids play and bicker and make up and do it all over again. Like family, neh?