There are times when the challenges of life seem to crowd in around upon us. In recent weeks, our family, for instance has cared for one we love through her knee replacement surgery, then within days we have cared for each other in the death of a family member in a tragic auto accident. As a pastor, I’ve come back home to be with a church family through a surgery, and then have cared for another in the tragic death of a dear pet. Members of the congregation have shared concerns for their friends and family members who are ill or grieving.
At the same time, we hear the joys and delights of new parents, and grandparents. We celebrate the voices of children in worship and the beauty of a child with autism running forward during worship; drawn to the vibrant colors she so loves. We find peace and comfort in music.
We meet to share reflections from vibrant congregational small group meetings, and to set priorities for the church’s ministry in this time.
All to say that life is multi-dimensional. We could never imagine all that is going on in the lives of those we encounter each day. We feel anger at someone in traffic and we have no idea what that person is facing. We snap at a telemarketer, forgetting that this is a person just like ourselves who may be worried about his or her child, or struggling with chronic pain.
I am reminded in these days that we need to approach each and every encounter in a spirit of prayerful care. Let us be tender with each other. Let us treat one another with love.