The Little Church That Could (part 2)

January 15, 2009
“The Little Church That Could (Part 2)”

(If you haven’t read it yet, read the first part of this two-parter before continuing with part two.)

There was a second little church. They had always been small in size, but big in heart. A long time ago a core group of people from the church had prayed about what God’s desire was for them.
They prayed for a long time. Days became weeks, and weeks became months…and they were still praying.
And then one day an older woman who was wearing the results of a long hard life, void of glamour and glee, came to a Sunday worship gathering. She sat in the back, even though several people invited her to sit with them. In the midst of the gathering she suddenly stood up and started shedding tears of sorrow. People listened. A couple of women came and put their arms around her. Their was an expectation that she was going to share about a family member who was sick, or about someone close to her who had died, but when she spoke she simply said, “Excuse my tears, but they are tears of sorrow and frustration because no one loves this community.” With that she sat down. There were a few moments of silent anxiety amongst the people. At the end of the service the pastor closed in prayer.
The visitor was gone by the time the “Amen” was voiced.
The next Sunday the worship gathering took a detour from the plan for the day. Someone stood up and talked about how the core group had been praying for God’s leading and what His desire was for their church. The person then went on to say that he believed the previous Sunday’s visitor had given them the message: “Love our community!”
There were affirming head nods and “Amens”, and the church set about being the body of Christ in their community.
It was a community with many hurts and wounded people that needed healing. To the people of the city it was an area that was known as “transitional.” People moved in and out of the on a frequent basis. Some came on the way from escaping something else, and others came with intentions of escaping as soon as they could.
The little church left the building…and went into the community. One Sunday they gathered for prayer and then walked down the streets around them and prayed for the people that lived there. The next week they gathered for worship and then went through the streets picking up trash. The third week they intentionally went door to door and asked people (the ones who weren’t too afraid to open their doors) if there was anything they could pray about for them. The fourth week some of them saw a new family moving into one of the “worn-out” houses and asked the mother if they could bring them a meal as a way of saying welcome to the neighborhood. She nervously agreed to it.
It started to become a habit!
The little church would walk and pray as they traveled down the sidewalks that were almost all in disrepair. They prayed that God would break their hearts out of love for the people that lived around them.
Like objects that rise to the surface of water and float on it, the painful situations of the community began to become more and more apparent to the little church.
A 19 year old who was pregnant was seen more and more. Her family had kicked her out of their home and now she was renting an efficiency apartment in a building that looked ready to fall down. Her minimum wage job left her worn out at the end of the day, but the bigger problem was that making ends meet often meant going a couple of days during the month where she couldn’t eat because there was no money left for groceries. She knew it was not good for the baby growing inside her, but she didn’t know what else to do. An older woman from the church found out about the situation and took a meal to the young woman. The next week the older woman invited the expectant mom to her home not too far away for dinner one night. That time together resulted in an invitation for dinner the next week on the same night. The older woman listened, because there was no one else to listen.
There was a man who lived in the neighborhood who was an alcoholic. People avoided him, and with every sip of his whiskey he became increasingly bitter about life. Someone from the church knocked on his door and asked him if there was anything that he could pray about for the man. The drunk chased him off his front step with a string of profanities and the threat of violence.
But the man from the church came back the next week. This time he asked the man if he could give him a freshly-baked loaf of bread. The man who had been violent the week before didn’t know how to respond. He took the bread and closed the door.
The man from the church came back the next week, and the next week, and the next week, and the alcoholic slowly lost his thirst for the whiskey and gained a hunger for the bread.
And there were others, but that will need to wait until next week.

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4 Comments on “The Little Church That Could (part 2)”

  1. Reen Says:

    Hey Bill….Can’t wait until next week to read on about Church Number Two! Exciting stuff happening that needs to be shared. I like your blog!

  2. Pam Says:

    Alot of food for thought … and prayer here. Thanks!

  3. Pam Says:

    Okay, so after some thought … here are some thoughts!

    “A long time ago a core group of people from the church had prayed about what God’s desire was for them.
    They prayed for a long time. Days became weeks, and weeks became months…and they were still praying.”

    The power of persistent prayer. In our immediate-response world, it’s hard to wait and look for God’s leading. So many times in my life I’ve prayed for something (with the picture of how I wanted it to be answered) and months or years later, God opens my eyes to see how HE answered in His way … way different than my way, and much better.

    It doesn’t necessarily mean we stop doing everything until we see exactly what God has planned, but we go through life in that relationship with Him – sometimes trying things we believe He leads us to – sometimes those things don’t work the way we wanted, but He has worked in us during that time, readying us to better follow Him and know His desire. I think He maybe works the most during those still and silent times when we don’t think there is anything happening … He just has us wait .. while He works continually toward His purpose during that time. And the whole while we are still praying.

  4. wordsfromww Says:

    You are right on, young lady!

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