She got the call today
One out of the gray
And when the smoke cleared
It took her breath away
She said she didn't believe
It could happen to me
I guess we're all one phone call from our knees
We're gonna get there soon
If every building falls
And all the stars fade
We'll still be singin' this song
The one they can't take away
I'm gonna get there soon,
She's gonna be there too
Cryin' in her room
Prayin' Lord, come through
We're gonna get there soon
Last night, I treated Tony to not one but two movies. We saw the movie Captive, and the movie "90 Minutes in Heaven."
When the wife in 90 Minutes in Heaven is called to her principal's office...and told about her husband's accident, I was there with her. I've been there. I've stood in a hospital hallway, being told that my life was about to change.
Most of us don't realize it, but we will all have our moment, our call. Either we will be the reason for the call, or we will be the one being informed. It might be an accident, or cancer, or ....there are so many dark things that come upon us in life. We're told that the rain falls upon the just and the unjust. Life is hardship, and loss.
From the moment of that call, that moment, you will mark time. Every patient or caregiver understands this. The moment it all changed. The moment the world stood still.
The question is, what do we do when that happens. What are your first thoughts going to be? Will you rail at the doctor? Or will you be in shock? Will you fall to your knees and beg God for mercy, will you question him? The truth is, no one knows until they come into the situation.
The same is true for those who surround a person for whom that moment arrives, the "social circle."
I was encouraged by the folks who came alongside the family in the movie. But in reality, while I know most of my churched friends will find this hard to believe, many families in crisis I know would not say this is what they experienced. In fact, if it had not been for my homeschool family, I am not sure what would have happened to us.
Now financially, people gave, but hands on help, well that is often hard to come by. We needed help getting children to homeschool events, and just keeping up on the house. We needed people to drop over and just TALK to Layne, and that seemed the hardest thing to get people to do. We would see people we knew in the store, and they would scurry the other way after spotting us. They didn't know what to say. They didn't know how to help. Those who did begin helping us, within a short period of time, when things got hard, walked away.
Unfortunately, this is what my boys saw of "the church." They came to believe that when their father could no longer give thousands, that he became unimportant to the body. They saw our struggles to get him anointed, and they took that all in. And today, it affects them all. They remember that those who should have, if they were living the word they loved to talk about, reached in and held us up, mostly shrank from the task. When Layne passed, no men from the church stepped in. One family friend did come talk to the boys once, but that was the end the interaction. I appreciated the attempt, the boys remember being dropped.
What the church, what we as Christians, do in cases of tragedy is very important. How the family is embraced is something those little ones will remember into their adulthood. They see with clearer eyes sometimes, the hearts of people. They know who speaks the words and who walks the walk. Are we walking out our faith? Or do we only talk it ("Let me know what I can do?") when others are in earshot? The impact that is being made on those tiny hearts...is of an eternal nature.
We are our brother's keeper. Those children are your children. They need help with homework, they need a place to go and get away. They need food, they need rides. They need an open heart and a shoulder. They need to know that their parents are still important to you. Important enough for you to give up things to care for them, to be sacrificial in giving time and attention.
We needed our small group to step up, not to disband. We needed the believers who loved us to show up at the office, and pray with Layne. A few did, and I'm thankful for Terry Wright, who stood by Layne until the end as a brother, and others. But most people, for whom he had done much, were just "too busy." I believe they were overwhelmed by the reality of the situation. But we don't have time to be overwhelmed. When the world is unsure what to do is just when the church, the believers, need to step in. That's how you know Christians. It's by their love.
It was love that brought two families, the Wellmans and the Kedziorskis, to my home to pack boxes during our move. It was love that caused good friends to fly across the country, just to give a hug or to open their homes. My boys came to realize that Christ is not really housed "in a church", He is housed in the hearts of those who give Him room.
In Acts, we learn that the church grew because "the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them." We can't grow until we are willing to be our brother's keeper. Are we really ready to walk the walk?