This past Sunday, I spent 2 hours getting ready. I dressed myself and two children (well, three if you count the heart-change Lillian had about her outfit) and packed three bags. You read that correctly. Three!! One for Lillian. One for Lucas. And the backup-diaper-bag I call a “purse.” I made lists. I checked stuff off. I made last minute dashes into the house for things forgotten. Mr. Moore and I then wrestled the children into their carseats. And, we looked at each other and sighed. We were on our way.
On the way to church, I reflected on all the happenings of the week. How I wish the kids would sleep through the night. How I’d gone to Starbucks a few too many times. How exactly I was supposed to process all the horrendous stuff going on in the news. How I this. How I that. Never once did I think how God was about to rock my perspective.
Halfway through the praise and worship portion of the service entered a man in a wheelchair. An elder wheeled the man to a spot up against a wall in the aisle, where they were met by a man in a striped shirt. The elder and the man in the striped shirt lifted their disabled brother out of the chair and into a pew.
After a brief exchange between the man in the striped shirt and the disabled man, I saw an act simultaneously so small, yet so great. The man in the striped shirt offered the disabled man his arm, and he lifted him up. And he held him there until the very last bar of the last song. And, there they stood, praising God in unison.
As I tried to discreetly remove the tears from my eyes, I started reflecting on this beautiful thing that had just taken place. And, I thought of how many times I’ve seen those around me struggling through this or that. And I’ve been too busy with checking off lists and packing bags. Or I’m too exhausted from sleepless nights. And, I have ALL THE GOSSIP in the news to formulate opinions on. I’ve just been too [me-centered] to offer an arm.
And, in these few minutes at church, I realized just how wrong I’ve been. And, really how wrong we’ve been as Christians. Friend, while I realize we are supposed to take care of our families and ourselves, we have totally missed the mark on taking care of each other. Or, at least I have. But, I am not called to be first. Or second (sorry, I Am Second, campaign). Or third. I am called to be last. I am called to hold others up.
So, take my arm, my hurting friend, when you can’t stand on your own. I will hold you up. I can’t fix it, but I know the One who can. I will stand with you where you are. I will cry with you. I will pray for you. And, I know there will be a point in life where I need it. And, I hope you offer the same.