SOME OF our church leaders met together for a meal and a catch-up; a chance to talk about how we felt things were going.
As we shared, it became clear that a number of us were finding life uphill. The atmosphere steadily became gloomy.
Picking fish bones out of my mouth, listening to shared woes, heaviness settled upon me; it was going to be one of “those” evenings.
But then one guy changed everything. Very simply, but very genuinely, he told us all how much he loves being a part of our church and community. And he loves the way that people who come among us are touched and changed. And he loves what God does in our midst. And he loves us.
He was deliberately changing the tone, but it wasn’t forced, it wasn’t false. He just chose to express his love.
I know this guy. I know, in fact, that there are some things in his life that are painful, that mean he carries sadness within him. But last night, bravely and beautifully, he expressed his love. People melted. They remembered what it was all for. If you’ll permit me to poeticize, his words were like a sudden flute melody bursting unexpectedly into a monotonous dirge of double basses. Or so it felt to me.
Soon after he had shared, we all prayed together. What had been a rather cheerless gathering had become a joining of hearts and a mutual strengthening. I blessed my brother from my heart. It’s true – love changes everything. It really does.