Monday, March 19, 2007

A Heartfelt Thanks

Last Sunday, like the Sunday before it, and I suspect like the Sunday to come, I found myself standing in the lobby at church feeling a bit overwhelmed. One of the things that happens on my Sundays is "the brief encounter". In the small spaces between or after service people come up to check in with me to see how things are going.

Of late, these brief encounters have been more characterized by intensity in the eyes, earnest words, soft touches on the heads of our kids, and a recounting of how the individual has been praying for us. It is remarkable to me how much love can be conveyed, or better, transferred to me in such a short amount of time. One such encounter would not be overwhelming, of course, but it is not just one that occurs. The brief encounter plays out 10 to 15 times and by the time my wife and I pile all of the kids into our 12 passenger van, we pull away from church having felt the love of God.

I think of the Casting Crowns song that says:

"But if we are the Body
Why aren't His arms reaching"

and I am so glad this is not a question I am asking. The Body is reaching out to us and we are the better for it.

This is not the only way that the Body is reaching out to us, however. Just this last week our credit card bill came and it was quite large. We had charged all of the airfare for our travel to Ethiopia to bring our new kids home. I was in the process of checking out where the funds might come from to cover the credit card bill when we got a check in the mail from our church. A few weeks earlier our church hosted a time for the three families who are adopting from Ethiopia to share with the congregation and during that time many members of the congregation donated funds to support the adoptive families. The check we got in the mail was just over the amount of the bill for the airline tickets for our two kids. It was a wonderful and well-timed blessing.

The support from church combined with the support of others in the form of gift cards, donated furniture, child care, and kind words has made me realize that one of the reasons my wife and I can take on big things in our lives is because of all of the support we get from others.

So a big thank you to all of you – friends and family near and far. Without your support we would not be able to do what we are doing.

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