I experienced something very profound today. I sat through an AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meeting here at the church. HUMC has agreed to host these meetings three days a week from 12-1:00 p.m. because this particular group had outgrown their previous location and today was their first meeting in our fellowship hall. Tom, who just received his 44 year chip, invited me to attend (these are open meetings).
As a disclaimer, I can honestly say that I do not have, or have ever had addiction issues, nor have I been close to anyone who has had addiction issues. Therefore, this was very new to me. I sat in the back of the room and just listened. And, as I listened I became incredibly moved by these wonderful people and their daily (hourly in some cases) struggle with alcoholism. In this room sat every day folks – people in formal work attire, uniforms, dresses. This room was full of men and women of all ages and places in their recovery. It was eye-opening to hear their struggles, their celebrations, and I became deeply humbled by their strength and courage.
Sitting just a couple of seats down from me was a young woman, probably 5-10 years younger than me, and she introduced herself and shared that her daughter attended preschool here for two years (this must have been recently because we’ve only been here for 3 years). She offered thanksgiving for the women who cared for her daughter in this place when she wasn’t able to. She would drop her daughter off hung-over, but knew that her daughter was loved and cared for in this place. This woman offered further thanksgiving that the Lord brought her back to this “safe” place so that she, too, can be cared for.
My friends, that’s powerful stuff. I know sometimes we can get caught up in the semantics of “church” things like, I don’t know, paying the mortgage for instance. But, think about it this way – being here, on this property, in this building, is giving us the opportunity to minister to this woman, and possibly to many more like her. It’s not the pretty building and the “stuff” in it, it’s what we can do with it. And, my friends, we are doing great things in the name of Christ. AMEN!