Friday, June 12, 2009

Matthew's Memorial Baptist Church--Living God's Love

Nearly a month ago, the retinal specialist I was going to with my eye problems gave me some really bad news--I had a small retinal detachment. It was small enough that it was fixable, but to fix it he was going to have to do surgery.

He told me the recovery was going to be two weeks, possibly three. That was going to be a problem because I had about 3 days worth of paid leave. Obviously, my first thought was "How are we going to pay bills?" I mean, we're not broke and living in abject poverty but we don't have a huge surplus every month either. Taking two weeks without pay off was simply going to wreck the budget.

I let several people know about this problem. One of them was my dear friend Ken Matthews, the song leader at Matthews Memorial Baptist Church (No, the church wasn't named after him or his family. Haa, I knew you were thinking it). I served as pastor of that church for 6 years. I told Ken what the problem was and asked if the church could help.

I really hated to ask. It felt like begging. I just didn't know what else to do. Ken didn't take the opportunity to try to make me feel bad. It didn't turn into an inquisition. I didn't have to produce an audited set of financial statements and give a DNA sample. He just said he would ask the church if they could help. I didn't ask for a specific amount. I would have been grateful for any help they could have been.

A few days later, Ken called and asked for my address. A few days subsequent to that, we got a check in the mail for $500. I cried. I was so overcome with thankfulness for their generosity. It was a huge help in plugging the hole in my budget. They sent the check in the sweetest card with the message "We're praying for you".

See, to my way of thinking, that is God's love lived out in real life. It's like James said (in the Baldwin County Translation) "If you know someone who's hungry or cold and you tell 'em 'Alright, well go on get you something to eat and warm up' and you do nothing to help them all you've don't is beat your gums together".

Lord, please help me love like that. Let me help first and interrogate later.

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