Sunday, July 18, 2010

This Is What The Church Should Look Like (Thank you Adam For Sharing!)

This is a Caring Bridge journal entry written by my friend Adam. Adam's oldest son Abel is living with challenges that have occurred as a result of treatment of cancer. For more about Adam and Abel please ck out their Caring Bridge website at

Adam here again:

It was striking that the first thing I saw this morning as I came through the front doors of this new church I was visiting was an older man in a very nice suit sitting in a wheelchair. He smiled at me and I could instantly tell he was severely disabled and unable to do the most basic of things. He had a stack of bulletins on his tray and he gestured for me to grab one. His disability must have prevented him from handing them out. He smiled when I picked one up and with his crippled hand he proudly pointed to the tag on his suit that read Greeter. I said hello with a giant grin and shook his contorted hand trying to hide the tears that were trying to jump from my eyes at such a beautiful man and a beautiful act of service for God. To me it was such humble service and yet the pride he had in his service to God was SO very humbling to me.

Mid way through Amazing Grace the same man began to attempt to move his wheelchair. Another man sitting across the isle seeing that he would be unable to move the wheelchair on his own, stood up and helped him to roll down to the altar. (Mark2:4) The pastor came down from the stage and knelt by the man and prayed with him. I was in awe.

There were three others in wheelchairs throughout the sanctuary as well. All three had obvious mental and physical impairments. They sang loudly and unbothered by anyone's opinions. The beauty of their seemingly unintelligible and disconcordant singing was so astonishing to me. No one else seemed bothered and the worship seemed more pure and more Holy because of it.

One of the men was more intelligible than the others. During the pastor’s sermon, the pastor told a joke having to do with creation and comparing a man with a dog. The disabled man in the wheelchair started laughing out loud. He obviously got the joke and in a voice loud enough for everyone to hear, said “that’s silly, just plain silly.” Again, the pastor smiled with grace and agreed with the man. There were several instances where one might say the service was disrupted... but not in this small congregation. Sometimes people joined in and laughed (at appropriately funny comments or interactions), other times they seemed to ignore the sounds (the coughing, gurgling, moaning, etc…) It was abundantly apparent that these disabled individuals were welcome here and their contributions appreciated, even treasured.

I couldn’t help but think of Matthew 25:40 that says
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'”

In the service this morning, I sensed a certain charming quality of God’s presence I have never experienced before in my life here on this planet. I believe I sensed God’s presence described by Jesus here in Matthew 25:40. Indeed it WAS God’s presence that touched my heart this morning and very gently reminded me that what I saw this morning was a mirror image of what happens in our home every day and every night. There is a worship going forth to our Saviour, a sweet smelling aroma to His nostrils, and a precious character of love that brings honor and glory to our King in a unique way. This is part of Abel’s purpose and part of His worship of the King. He is a like a light and a magnifying glass on the hearts of men. A person’s weight, their measure, their heart, can be measured by their interactions with my son just as Matthew 25:31-46 describes. I am, once again, humbled to be called Abel’s dad. Well done, Calvary Assembly of God, well done.

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