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Part of the Family
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The parking lot began to fill as worshipers gathered for Sabbath afternoon communion. Normally, I would be looking forward to this sacred service. But today was different. My mind was filled with worrisome thoughts and troubling emotions. How could I protect my children from not only the hurts that were occurring within our family, but from the questions and comments of those who plied them with the queries I avoided answering.

Hesitantly, my junior-high-age daughter and eight-year-old son walked into church with me. I couldn't blame them for their tentativeness. Just that morning, two family friends, had inquired about their dad.

"Where is your dad today? They questioned.

"He’s sick," came the response.

Not satisfied with the information, they pressed further.

"Is he sick here in town or is he sick somewhere else?" 

Prying Details

Wasn't it bad enough that our family was falling apart without people, who should be supportive, prying for details?   

Now, it was time for communion. Our church didn’t provide a room for families to gather for the foot washing. I began to think through the logistics. My son usually went with his dad. He was a bit too old to go with me.

As I pulled the kids together to talk about the situation, a familiar voice offered a greeting. One of the church elders said he had a question for my son. With a big smile, he continued. "Hey, I was just thinking how grown up you are getting to be and I was wondering if you would rather come with us guys for the foot washing.” A smile began to widen across my son’s face as he looked to me for permission. With a bounce in his step, he headed off to the room designated for men.

It was a small act but a thoughtful one. Worries faded into the background and a favorite promise crossed my mind, "I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!” (Isaiah 65:24). 

God knew our hurts, He knew our needs, and He provided someone who showed my son how a church family can care. Encouraged I entered the foot washing service thinking about the Savior who understands our hurts and heals our hearts, a Savior who forgives our shortcomings and draws us to Him.

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By Janie Rogers, pseudonym. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW LIVING TRANSLATION © 1996.

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