Keep being ‘church’

by Marianne Haxton Violette

A few days ago a Kentucky garbage man noticed no trash cans were being put out at an elderly woman’s house on his route for two straight weeks. He was concerned enough to share the address with his supervisor. She found the name of the woman at the address and called her.

“Ms. Smith, we noticed you haven’t put out your cans for a while. Are you ok?” Ms. Smith replied: “I’m ok. But my caretaker was so afraid of the virus that she stopped coming. I can’t get to the store. I don’t have any trash because I’ve run out of food. And I don’t have any family to help me.” After a long pause, the caller said: “You do now. We are your family.”

She let her truck driver know of the sad news. The next day, on his day off, he knocked on her door and asked her to make up a grocery list. “Ms. Smith— the list is too short.” She added a few more items. “Ms. Smith, this list is still too short. Would you mind if I looked into your fridge?” She relented. He opened the fridge and it was bare. Empty. An hour later, he brought in dozens of bags of groceries for a woman he hardly knew. Tears. An air-hug that met social distancing protocol. And the garbage man walked out of the house of this woman who was physically immobile but levitating. A garbage man decided he’d reach out to someone and church broke out.

His supervisor shared the creed with this elderly woman: “You have a family now.”

I miss our services of worship. I miss that it’s silent now. I’m sick to my stomach we had to push back our start-back date to gather. But church? Church is happening all around us. It’s a phone-call. It’s a bag of groceries. It happens anytime someone tells another person (who is Jesus in his best disguise!): “You have a family now.”

Real church is not defined by a service of worship, but by servants of Christ.

Keep being church. That’s all you have to do.

If you wish to support this ministry so that we can continue to “be church” and support others, please consider donating and please designate exactly how your donation is to be used by selecting from the drop-down menu lists on the following donation forms:
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