Thursday, January 26, 2006

A sappy post

Last night, I got to speak to a room full of people back in Omaha, Nebraska, via the wonders of cell phone (mine) and speakerphone (theirs)... and about 100 feet of phone cable so the phone would reach into the fellowship hall. I'd been asked the day before if I would mind giving my impressions on "Caring Community": what my family and I had experienced there, what we miss, and its importance to us. I am afraid I didn't convey everything as well as I could or should have. I mentioned prayer groups, family life groups, people who were like second parents to my children. I remembered times when we were prayed for, encouraged, and loved deeply. I told them I appreciated the way we were drawn into the family immediately with ways we could serve, and the way we were part of the lives of others there, not just acquaintances we saw on Sundays and Wednesdays.

There was so much more I wanted to say, but how do you say it on the phone, and without losing composure and making yourself totally unintelligible? These people literally became family to us in the 2 short years we were there. There are men and women there who are spiritual parents to us, aunts and uncles and cousins to our children. We who, by virtue of our status as military dependents, have not been afforded the luxury of living near our physical families, were given 10-fold what we did not have.

There's a big word being tossed about in theological circles today: incarnational. Simply put, it just means "being Jesus." I think that's what you see in a "caring community." A lot of people, being Jesus... trying to love as He did.

I'm not sure if my words to them had as much of an impact on them as their words back to me. As our phone conversation ended, the group joined together to sing "We Love You With the Love of the Lord." Right back atcha, folks. So... who's coming to visit?

6 comments:

Kanga said...

What a wonderfull thing to have had that much caring and loving. I feel blessed knowing there are churches and communities out there who do that. We often don't take the time to love on one another enough. We don't take the time to see who needs it. God is always there for us but when the people are there for us it makes a world of difference. We all need encouragement, help, prayer, support. I am glad you got it the 2 years you were there. Have you found that again where you are at?

drjimwhite said...

I'll be our there in May. Can't wait! JW

Carl V. said...

Its really cool that you had the opportunity to share. I'm sure you did very well.

DJG said...

How wonderful.

I sure understand why you get homesick for this place.

jettybetty said...

I absolutely love having so many spiritual family members in our church family--how would we do without them??

(You never know when I will just show up!) I might not be who you were expecting! =-)

Rick J said...

Wow! Noah told me you guys were on the phone last night, but I had no idea... :) What a neat experience to be blessed with.

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