Many of us fail to experience true heart connection with a church community. Those with chronic illness can struggle to get to services or stay in touch with friends. Even regular attendees can experience a sense of dislocation and isolation. But there’s a place there for us all. You belong.
Two years ago, my husband and I finally made it out to a service at our church. Our attendance has been erratic for years due to chronic health problems, so the Pastor took advantage of our unexpected presence to suggest we participate in the sermon Illustration he was giving.
We didn’t even need to leave our seats because he brought the microphone over to us. It so happens (in God’s perfect timing) that the sermon was on aspects of marriage and faithfulness. He felt we were suitably qualified to offer an opinion, especially as it was our 40th wedding anniversary that day.
My husband demurred, preferring me to answer instead. I prayed, took a deep breath and spoke from the heart, praising God and expressing deep gratitude for the man He had chosen to place by my side throughout life.
It was lovely to reconnect with friends and be of use again. But the service and fellowship we experienced that day gave me a pang of regret that church—as defined by being in a building on a specific day and time—was largely lost to me because of having chronic illness.
Thankfully, “church” means more than a gathering of people being taught, singing hymns, saying prayers, sharing communion and praising God together. The Bible defines church as the Body of Christ worldwide.Church is a hospital for the hurting. A home for lost souls. A welcoming committee for the isolated and lonely #wordsofjoy #faith #church Click To Tweet
It is unrestricted by difference over theology and practice and unfettered by physical proximity or ease of access. I believe church is a hospital for the hurting. A home for lost souls. A welcoming committee for the isolated and lonely…