Friday, September 19, 2008

Circle of Care

Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

For those of you who know me, you may be aware that the past couple weeks have been somewhat of a rollercoaster. We've had to contend with a sick husband, the sudden departure of one of our core volunteers in the youth ministry, and the hospitalization of one of our students, all coinciding with the kickoff of fall programming.

I'm not complaining, because I know that in the grand scheme of things, my challenges are not all that great. I just find myself extraordinarily emotionally tired.

In the midst of this, I've enjoyed some really good connections with others. A birthday party. Reconnecting with friends for the first time since we left China. Great discussions on long car trips.

Additionally, there's been a high level of care, flowing both in and out. Moms from the church offering us dinner on nights I just couldn't cook (thank you!!!!). Gary and I sitting with parents, loving them through hard times. Crashing on our new neighbor(the worship minister)'s couch, sipping decaf and chatting till 2:30 in the morning.

I feel totally stretched, yet pleased with where I am right now. I'm not in a place of just giving, being strong for others. I'm not in a place of total need, sucking everything I need from those around me. There's a connection, a flow, a balance as others give me the strength to continue on, so I can love others even more.

I think this is what Jesus was talking about when He instructed the religious experts of His day to "love your neighbor". I think this kind of community is a way to live out the fellowship described in 1 John. In the slog of daily life, the radiant beauty of the body of Christ has broken through, and I can't help but celebrate.

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