When Jesus Says Go.
At my church, on Wednesday nights before COVID19, we offered a meal followed by adult bible study, confirmation classes, & elementary faith formation (Sunday school), we call it Family Faith Night. It is a beautiful, energetic evening of love. Those who don't participate often sit in the sanctuary and watch the younger children learn and share.
One Wednesday night there was a couple watching and I felt compelled to hug the gentleman. I can't explain the feeling that overcame me but it was undeniably Jesus. I know the couple but not well, certainly not well enough to offer a hug out of nowhere. I knew enough to know they were dealing with a family crisis. I approached the pew behind them. I slipped my arm around the man's shoulders and said a quick prayer of peace. I asked Jesus to be with him. The man leaned into me and I asked if I could hug him. He stood up, faced me and wrapped his arms around me. We held each other for a moment. I could tell from his embrace it was exactly what he needed.
When we parted he held onto my arm. With tears in his eyes, he asked me why I did that. I told him Jesus sent me. I didn't know what else to say. He thanked me and hugged me again and I said a silent prayer over him a second time. His wife looked at me, somewhat shocked at the situation, so I hugged her too. That moment brought us closer together. In that moment we became more than church acquaintances, we became brothers and sisters in Christ.
Jesus called me to offer support. In my eyes, it wasn't my place and it certainly wasn't my business to invade their sacred time. But Jesus said go, and I did. I'll never forget that moment. In reflecting now, I wonder if I will react the same way when I'm called to do it again. I was in my church, my safe place. I shared that moment with people who were familiar to me. Would I have the same loving heart if it happens outside church with strangers? How will you react when Jesus calls you to support?