Canon Ross Kimball
“Why Won’t You Let Me Love You Through Them?”
by Father Lance Williams and Deacon Martha Learned
In the swirl of activity in our daily life, and sometimes on Sunday mornings too, it can seem as though everyone around us is unavailable. We can see groups of people talking, sharing stories, laughing and enjoying themselves, and yet feel like we’re alone, hesitating to join them. Or the opposite happens; suddenly our circumstances have changed and we are not able to make it to church. We wonder does anyone know and care about our situation? We feel isolated.
You might have wondered: “who can I talk with about what’s on my mind?” Sometimes what’s on our mind needs a few extra minutes to explain and takes someone who can slow down long enough to listen. Sometimes it could be a prayer need, a problem with a family member, an upcoming transition or change from the “steady state,” a health concern, a sick family member, the death of a loved one, an impending job loss or any number of struggles.
Whatever the struggles we face in life, the wonderful thing about being part of a church family is that we don’t have to go through it alone! We walk alongside others in their joys as well as in their difficulties, and we provide support. “Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?” (Romans 15:2 – The Message). Whether the need is physical, emotional, relational or spiritual, we are available to listen, talk, and pray with you.
About 15 years ago I (Martha) was the recipient of others walking beside me in my sorrow. Our best friend Spring had died after years of fighting against cancer and our Church family wanted to share their love to us in a very practical way. Susanne Flaherty and Elizabeth Doyle delivered to Larry and me a sumptuous, lavish and delicious meal. I looked in astonishment as the picnic baskets and pots of food were brought into our home with smiles that lit up the sky. There was a feast: freshly baked cookies and muffins and rice in a cooker, a steaming crockpot of jambalaya and more. I noticed I was resistant and having a difficult time graciously accepting this offering of tangible help. “Really – all this is for us?” “You shouldn’t have gone to all this trouble!” and other meager expressions were filling my mind, and some more-than-likely came out of my mouth.
Saying “Thank you” as I walked them back to their vehicle just didn’t seem sufficient, and I couldn’t fully receive what was being given. Deep inside I was troubled and knew it, as they cheerfully drove away. The Lord spoke these words with such tenderness in my spirit: “Why Won’t You Let Me Love You Through Them?”… I paused a moment and then burst into tears. In that pause I knew I had the freedom to choose. Out of my love for Susanne and Elizabeth and God I repented of my sins of pride and my desire to be self-sufficient. Right there in my driveway I opened my heart to receive God’s love from the hands and hearts of these two beautiful women. And in and through my tears I said “Yes” to His extravagant offer to be loved by Him through others; with a grateful heart I worshiped. And His extravagant love then filled my mind and heart. And I was comforted.
Whenever you are experiencing difficulty, our Pastoral Care Coordinator, Lance Williams, can connect with you for help with hospital or home visits, appointments with a pastor or spiritual director, or short-term financial help. Please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Seek him out and share what’s on your mind. We bring our desires, fears and hopes to the One who can bring us the help and comfort we need. We have people who’d love to pray for you. To submit a prayer request that will be treated with utmost confidentiality by our intercessors, please email email@example.com. Prayer is central to the health of our community.
To request a prayer ministry appointment, speak to Francis Capitanio, our Prayer Ministry Coordinator. Please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Will you let God love you through one of us, your Church family? Caring for each other is at the heart of what it means to be a church. The Body of Christ is designed to care for one another. It is a spiritual act of worship. It takes the Holy Spirit prompting us, and when we respond, he creates an authentic community known for caring for one another. “So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another” (Romans 12:5). Please tell someone what is going on … Let us reach out to you and extend God’s grace and provision to you.