My friend’s mother was in the hospital for a major surgery. She was telling me about her long stay one day when I was visiting. “One of the ladies from the church came by to see me, she was the second or third that day. I was surprised by all the people stopping by so I asked what was going on. She told me one of the elders of the church was in a room up the hall.”
I can’t be completely sure, but I think that the lady confessed she wasn’t there to see my friend’s mom. I do know that is how my friend’s mom took the comment. It wouldn’t surprise me. Pregnancy kept me away from the same church for several months after several years of not missing a service (forget morning sickness – I had 24/7 sickness) and I didn’t get a SINGLE visit from anyone in the church. Well, the pastor did send a card.
Life has become hectic for most people. The schedules are so packed that there is no time to develop relationships with the people living under the same roof. It can be no real shock that relationships in a building that is only visited a couple of hours each week are nonexistent as well.
It is a shame what the church has become – or what it has lost really. Today it is just another place to hang out with the same people doing the same things. The community that was created around the church (the ones that gathered to build a barn in a day or to supply meals and household needs for a family in crisis) has all but vanished in the air.
Community has been missing in my family and our lives for a number of years. We have actively searched for it. We have reached out to create it by opening our own home to others. It has only been after ten years of searching that we are beginning to rediscover community. Yesterday we decided to join the new community and we have already been welcomed and supported with open arms by a number of different people and directions.
A church is more than a building. It is more than a body of people. A church is a place of unity where a person can reach out for help and find it or doesn’t even have to reach out because the body knows exactly what the need is and meets it. It is not easy to find a true church in this day and age, but hopefully the tide is shifting back to the days of community.
Do you have a community in your life?