My first post. Why am I blogging? I love to write as a way of processing and recording my thoughts, but with the exception of my own private journal (which obviously is not for public consumption), most of what I write is fairly polished and relatively infrequent. I want to use this space to record daily thoughts in a less edited, freer manner. (Which means I'm going to try really hard to just let my thoughts go, rather than choose my words carefully.)

So today's thought is about church this morning. The first Sunday of every month, we serve Communion. For about a year, we've had time before the serving of the elements to allow those who want prayer for healing to come forward. As an elder, I have the privilege of sometimes being one of the people to serve the elements and to pray for people. Today, I was paired up with Scott, another elder.

A middle-aged man -- we'll call him Ron -- sauntered forward and told Scott and I that he had been diagnosed as HIV-positive last month. Ron said that in addition to physical healing, he needed help dealing with the emotional fallout of this "death sentence," and that he also wanted to join our church and "get right with God." "Physical, emotional, and spiritual," I said. "The church is for hurting people. We're all hurting," said Scott. Ron said, "Yes, that's why I'm here."

Scott and I prayed for Ron, hugged him, and offered to talk with him after the service. I won't record what Ron told Scott and I after the service about his previous life, because that's not relevant. What is relevant is that I go to a church where people, in interacting with our members, experience the love of God in the midst of life's hardships. Ron appreciated our ears and our prayers, but Scott and I felt like the grateful ones. For we had been given the opportunity to be part of the body of Christ, and to experience and share the love that knits a church together.

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