This is a re-post from earlier this year. It is one of my favorites and the way I remind myself as to how rich I am. Rich beyond words.
I was recently asked the definition of Church.
How often, when we say Church, we think of a building? But Jesus didn't come to earth, minister, die, and rise from the dead for a building, but for a people. Wherever the people of God are gathered to worship the Creator of the universe, there the Church is.
The Church is a people created, called out, and gathered by God. ~~Gloria Furman
The best part of the churches we have been privileged to be a part of is the many women I have met over the years. Women who love God in spite of unwanted divorces, children who have died, husbands who died suddenly after being cancer free. Single parent moms who just do the next thing. Words escape me as to the awesome life I have as a pastor's wife to know so many of God's women. Whether in joy or sorrow or the mundane of life, my sisters in Christ fix their gaze on Jesus and reach out to those around them.
Church is a place full of broken people with their gaze fixed on Jesus and their arms outstretched to others.~~Blythe Hunt(Mundane Faithfulness)
Women I have been honored to know and love make me very rich. I am amazed at how the Church I love works together to build each other up, cry with those who are grieving, take food to families who have had a new baby, or work together in the kitchen to pull off a turkey dinner. I could name a thousand ways women honor each other, but I will name a few here.
This is just a smattering of women I have known over the course of thirty years. I look forward to living the rest of my life getting to know and love those God puts in my path. Not a building but a people.
- A new friend said to me this week, "stop by anytime, I know your extended family is far away and I'm sure you miss just stopping in to visit them". How did she know?
- Women who walk with their sisters in Christ through cancer. Not just saying, "I will pray for you", but go together to doctor appointments.
- Neighbors who give you a new French Press coffee pot because she has an extra.
- Women who press on, looking to the future, after being fired from a job they've been at for many years.
- Wives who walk with their husbands through many illnesses, encouraging them to look to the Author and Finisher of their faith.
- Friends who watch their lives take a path they never planned and watch as God faithfully takes them on a path that is new and exciting in ministry.
- Mothers who trust God in the dark as children take a prodigal path.
- Friends who are transparent as they pour their hearts out over cups of coffee and lunch time sandwiches.
- Women whose marriages have not born the fruit of 'growing old together', but still love God and their neighbor in the midst of difficult marriages.
- Women, young and old, who say 'I will trust God and His Word' in the midst of dire circumstances.