We have been welcomed into the church with warmth and open arms. This week was special because a pastor from out-of-town came to deliver the messages each night..... this after having lost his young brother in a tragic accident two weeks ago. Our church let him know that he didn't have to follow through with his commitment to preach here, but he wanted to come.
Last night, a church member who has had a long battle with cancer came forward in tears at the end of the service, and told the congregation she just found out her cancer was back and had spread. Immediately, the whole church came forward, surrounded her, laid hands on her, and prayed and wept with her..... many stayed even after the service was over, to encourage her and pray.
Then tonight, the guest pastor gave a very sincere sermon on faithfulness and how he had been inspired by this little church. He let us know how therapeutic this week with our church had been and talked of needing prayer for going back and dealing with his grief over his brother. The closing song found just about every one in the church on their knees...... at the alter, in the aisles, in the pews, surrounding the pastor as his tears flowed in mourning. Even the elderly, who could barely walk, were kneeling in prayer, leaning against the pews. I was humbled and moved by their sincerity and compassion.....
Love...... is a verb. And the spirit of God showed up in a little country church in Appalachia, among simple people who want to be faithful to Him.... in the way they know how.
"Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ...."
(Painting by Bryan Morgan)