I have the most amazing church in the universe. If you are not a part of it, then you can't possibly understand how much we love each other.....and others. If you aren't a part of it and want to be....come on over! (Sorry for the shameless plug for Fowler Springs Baptist) So anyway, our church is filled with love. Love is oozing from our cracks. It's quite beautiful. It was evident today, as it is every.......single.....week.
A couple of days ago, someone stole from our beautiful little country church. Our church is small, but not too small, and it's perfect. It is white with lovely stained glass windows. Someone came to our church and stole two air conditioning units and stole the copper out of two more. Word spread quickly, but the word was never of anger. Never resentment. Never rage. Never even, "Why would they?" The word that was passed around our congregation was simple.
"Our church services will be moved up on Sunday by two hours. This is due to the fact that someone took our air conditioners. We will have service early to keep our congregation comfortable from the heat."
That's it. Occassionally, I heard someone say, "We should pray for whoever took it." But mostly, the word about moving services just got passed.
During church service today, it was hardly even mentioned. No one was mad or upset about not getting to sleep late on a Sunday because of early services. No one was grouchy about it being stuffy in the church. No one gripped about how one person inconvenienced 200.
Last night, as I was lying in bed, I started thinking about the church thief. I wondered, how bad do things have to get before you would steal from a church? What could be going so wrong that you would do that? Maybe an addiction? Perhaps court fees? Backpayed child support? Greed? Hunger? No matter what the cause, you have to be at the lowest point in your life for you to go there.
My house is less than a mile from our church. During the winter, when the trees lose their leaves, I can see the church from my front porch. As I laid there last night thinking....instead of sleeping....I heard a noise. I couldn't place what the noise was. I kept laying there listening. My imagination ran wild. I was certain that the church thief was at our house stealing our air conditioner. Why is it that noises at night can make you think the worst scenio must be happening?
I finally figured out that the noise was my ice maker. I was in no immediate danger of losing my beloved conditioned air. I eventually drifted off to sleep thinking about how blessed I am. Blessed to not be so desperate to have to go and steal someone's copper. Blessed to be a part of such a loving church. And blessed that no one was stealing my air conditioner.