Today’s Devotional Tidbit –March 28, 2006
Barely Hanging Onto Life By a Thread
Sunday, a return guest to our congregation was having problems. Like her previous visits, she sat on the back row near the door. She came for a quick dose of encouragement and an even speedier escape. There are many folks who attend church each week with this same plan in mind – hear some good news and encouraging words and then make it out the back door before they can be engaged in conversation. Some people just want to be anonymous. With God’s help, I prevented her from leaving anonymously. I found out that she was having some bad problems. I prayed with her. I talked with her. She made me realize the truth in the statement, “Each week someone walks into our churches barely hanging onto life by a thread.”
Many of you who read this attend church. Some of you do not attend anywhere. I am glad this devotional reaches all types of people. I think the situation described above can be helpful to everyone. To those who attend church, remember that there are people barely hanging onto life by a thread in each of your church services. These individuals need to be found and engaged in conversation. These individuals who are having problems do not need to be judged. Our guest Sunday had one big concern. She didn’t want me to look down on her because she is functionally homeless at this time. Being judged was her big concern. That is the biggest concern of all who are struggling. We’ve got the misconception that those in the church need to be perfect or pretty close to perfect. How wrong and shameful for us to ever think that way. To those of you who do not attend church or who are pre-Christians, remember that if you are barely hanging on to life by a thread, a congregation of believers should make you feel welcome and help you. If it doesn’t, I don’t think that congregation is doing its job.
Jesus ate with tax collectors and “sinners.” We need to show that face of Jesus to the world. We need to eat with the tax collectors and “sinners” too. I would call such people “the hurting” and they include both those inside our churches and those who simply wander in from time to time. And don’t even get me started about going to the hurting…. I’d be sitting here for weeks typing away.
Please pray for our guest. I am sorry to not name her, but God knows her by name. She needs so many prayers at this time in her life. And after you pray for her, think about someone else you know who is hurting and pray for them.
Yours in Christ,