Today was our first Sunday at Forsythe. I’ll begin by telling you what was not hard. It was not hard for me to meet Ken at Starbucks for breakfast before Sunday School. It was not hard to go into my office and hang a new picture we bought in the Smokys … a picture of Jesus leading a child through a meadow (it makes me think of John Robert being led through heaven by Jesus). It was not hard to hug all of the sweet brothers and sisters who wanted to share their love and concern for us. It was not hard to see and talk to those who have become our friends. It was not hard to answer questions about our house search and our plans for the week. It wasn’t hard to see friend and visiting preacher Alan Robertson and his wife from WFR.
But sometime during the third song tears began to gather in my eyes. During communion I was praying for God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit to gather near round my heart and help ease the pain. I asked them, if it was not presumptuous, to bring John Robert near as well. As I ate and drank in the presence of God and His people I hoped that John was there nearby as well, communing in his spiritual presence. Of cousre I did not want to worship John Robert … just worship Abba along with him. If that sounds weird to you, I apologize. I can only imagine what I would think of that idea a few months ago. The sermon was fantastic, as expected. But then Alan talked about the healing of Jairus’ daughter … and the messengers who told Jesus not to bother coming, because she was dead. I remember standing on my steps with Captain Jamie Hunter giving me the worst news of my life. He’s dead. Poor Maggy had heard it only minutes before I arrived. But Jairus received a reprieve from his terrible news. We did not. It wasn’t Alan’s intention to bring this to mind … he can’t tiptoe around my heart when preaching the gospel. It is, after all, the gospel that gives us the only hope we have.
As I was sitting there in my tears, I remembered something from THE SHACK…or at least something that could have come from that book. I thought to myself, of course God knows you’re hurting and He’s hurting right along with you.
After services we were greeted by others who couldn’t get to us beforehand. I spoke with two mothers who had lost their children … and hope to speak with them more as time goes by. We’re in a group we didn’t ask to be in, but it’s a special group to be sure.
Eddie and Stacie Enlow took us to El Chile Verde for lunch. Thier two children, Matthew and Madolyn, are delightful! We had a good long conversation on into the early afternoon. As we left I commented to Maggy that Eddie and Stacie are ‘our kind of people’.
Now we’re packing up and will head to the Coast soon. Pray for our safe journey.
Thanks for reading,