Sunday, January 14, 2024

Unity in the body of Christ

This afternoon, members of our church gathered together to extend the love of 
Christ to one of our sweet friends. Our meeting time was 2:30 p.m. We arrived a little before then.

As we exited our car, we quietly walked up the driveway. We weren't sure exactly how to proceed and were looking for the pastor. As we stood in the yard waiting, one by one other members of the church pulled up. We greeted each other and shifted to make room for more and more friends to arrive. Within fifteen minutes or so, about thirty people had gathered.  

Before we began, I noticed Mrs. Anderson had come out of the house and was standing in front of their covered carport. She looked frail but what a warrior. As she stood in her bright yellow shirt, she greeted one person after another as we patiently went up to her offering our support and love. 

The pastor entered the center of the group and explained today's gathering - an informal prayer walk. We were to spend time in prayer walking the property of Mr. and Mrs. Anderson's home. The pastor explained we could take our time, pray as we felt led, and leave when we were through. Members of the group began to spread out around the grounds. Before Phil and I moved from the driveway, I saw Mrs. Anderson standing alone, so I went up to her. Before I had a chance to speak to her, she extended her hand and spoke to me. "You're Denise's friend, aren't you?" I nodded and she said, "She showed me the sweet prayer you'd written for me several days ago, thank you." I was dumbfounded. While I remembered writing out a prayer and sharing it with my friend, I couldn't, for the life of me, remember what I'd written. 

I asked Mrs. Anderson if she minded us praying over her. At that time, Phil, Denise, and her husband, Gary, had joined me. She said she didn't mind at all so we began to pray. I led the prayer and Gary closed. It was a beautiful, sweet time of fellowship. 

After our intimate prayer time, Phil and I walked to the only open spot - the middle of the front yard, and began to pray more earnestly for Mr. and Mrs. Anderson's health. Since they both have cancer, we asked God to be merciful to them and if it was His will, that He might heal their bodies and extend their lives, just like He did for King Hezekiah in the Bible. But if it wasn't His will to heal them on this side of heaven, we knew He'd heal them on the other side of glory. 

Pancreatic cancer kills quickly. I lost a very dear friend to it a couple of years ago. It was so sad to watch his body decline, but even in the midst of his treatments, his faith was strong and he fought hard. The same thing with my brother after his cancer diagnosis. 

Oh, how I hate cancer. It's so hard to understand why some people survive and others don't. Sometimes I feel so guilty being a survivor. It's hard to explain to someone who's never experienced cancer before, but survivor's guilt is real. 

I'm so thankful our church is a unified body of believers. It's hard to find churches who follow Biblical principles these days. The Bible commands us to bear one another's burdens and the people at Unity Baptist certainly know how to do that. 

We were honored to participate today and hope Mr. and Mrs. Anderson felt our love. May God's peace comfort them in the days ahead and may He be merciful to them as they continue to fight the good fight. 

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