Gratefulness is a choice.
God sometimes gives days that open our eyes to see, so that we choose gratefulness.
Today is one of those days.
Sandy’s back is much better today, and she had dozens of people praying for her. This makes me so grateful. She is a gift from God to me and to us.
I met with a 70 year old man in the South Bronx this afternoon, and as I heard his story I realized again how much I have. It nearly overwhelmed me with gratefulness. This man had called the CAM hotline and said he is lonely and wishes to find a church community. The CAM hotline volunteer called me to see if I would be willing to meet with this man, so we met on a bench at Yolanda Garcia Park for nearly an hour. My new friend comes from a secular Jewish home. His parents divorced when he was sixteen. His only sister committed suicide in her 20’s. He’s lonely enough that he said “I sometimes wish I could get sick so I could go to a nursing home and at least be around people.” Wow. I never thought I would hear someone wish they could go to live in a nursing home so they wouldn’t be lonely. I heard him say at least four times “I just want to know that I have someone in my corner.” This guy said he has no purpose, little meaning, and sees no reason to get up in the morning. Wow. I hope we can be a blessing to him in our church community. I am blessed beyond words to be a part of the church. I do not deserve the goodness and kindness of God.
During another conversation today, with a friend much younger, I heard about his five year stint at Rikers Island, the NYC jail system. He says he was falsely accused and spent five cruel years at Rikers Island. Somewhere in the conversation he noted that he recently deleted all his family contacts and he is “starting over with new friends.” Then this statement…“I just want someone in my corner.” Wait. Hadn’t I just heard that phrase two hours earlier?
“I just want to know I have someone in my corner.”
Today I am so grateful for the gracious, life-changing gift of Salvation, the gift of family, and the amazing gift of the church of Jesus Christ. I know tonight, without question, that there are hundreds of people in the church of Jesus Christ around the world who are “in my corner.” These friends pray for us, care about us, love us, and sometimes they even sacrifice for us. Even Christian friends who do not know us would pour out their lives for us, because that is what real Christians do. My heart sings of the goodness of God. He pours out His goodness in many ways. The church, the bride of Christ, is just one special expression of God’s goodness.
Brighten “the corner” where you are.
Oh, and if you doubt you will ever have people in your corner, resist that doubt. There are people who care for you, of that I am sure. Don’t let another day go by without reaching out and asking for someone to stand in your corner. In this year, 2020, we all need talk therapy and people therapy more than ever. If you are single, please please move towards people. Yes, I know the church can sometimes seem like a boiling cauldron of mishmashed people with their own needs on full display. Don’t let that stop you, because Christ is at work in His church. Enter in. Reach out. Ask for help.