Monday, June 8, 2015


I sat by myself in the rear of the sanctuary this morning. Worship took me into another dimension at one point; but, after that, my mind was more on the people around me than it was on the sermon brought forth. It could have been that greeting an old friend who’s at least fifteen years younger than me had sparked the mood. Rick’s hair is gray now, what there is of it, that is. Bald, not all that tall, sporting one of those chin beards that give him the “hillbilly biker” look, and wearing a Harley vest over a white t-shirt and jeans, he resembles an animated gnome, smiling with his eyes to complete the picture. I never see him that my thoughts don’t go back, the image of him sitting on our front door steps and confessing Christ after teenage years had taken him far from the small country church known in his childhood. A preacher’s kid who now attends another assembly, but visits his widowed mother here every week and is but one of many who connect with me in memories of long ago. Four decades is no short amount of time. Rick’s faith has held him. A lot of others, wounded along the way, sit now in the shadows, some still reading their Bibles, some not. I’ve come to believe we all are God’s children, each of us under His ministry regardless of location and, in the end, judgment will be one of the heart. Community is for fellowship. A thousand can do more together in ministry, quantity-wise, not quality-wise, than merely two hundred. Nonetheless, salvation remains a one-on-one experience worked out in a man’s heart. You can be just as lost singing in the choir as anywhere else. Gathered as one in His name we are as diverse a collection of individuals as one might find at a ballgame, a concert, or even in a bar. Being born-again doesn’t eliminate our humanity. Sitting in a pew doesn’t necessarily make you born-again. I miss Roger, though, and Junior, and Becky, and at least a hundred more, their names listed in my heart and remembered in my prayers as the Spirit stirs an old man’s memories. In Him, we are not separated. The tie yet binds. Distance is no barrier…


  1. Good one, Jim. Makes me feel like I'm sitting in the pews as well. Just stopped in quickly before getting down to doing report cards, etc.

    1. Been missing you, Mich, and figured either school or sickness had you down. Got another one tomorrow along the same lines that sprung out of this weekend's service.