How Love Keeps Me Coming Back
February 28, 2022 | By: Blaize
Today was the first time we went back to church in almost two years. That might not seem like a big deal, but for me, it was huge because it marked a change. We stopped going in early 2020 as the pandemic spread. We faithfully watched our church’s live stream and participated in group meetings through Zoom through the pandemic.
As the pandemic wound down, we learned that April had cancer. We avoided going places out of an abundance of caution through that process because of what chemotherapy does to one’s immune system. Regardless of our presence, our church family was instrumental in helping us through everything.
Being back at church was cathartic for all the same reasons we love to go weekly. Church is more than just a place to go—it’s a family. We are blessed, but I’m not surprised. It’s what the church does.
While at church, we heard reports from Christians in Ukraine from folks who know people there. One of them is a Ukrainian lady in our small group Bible study. We also have connections with churches and ministries in Ukraine and heard from the staff there. Two of the leaders were visiting the USA and couldn’t get back home because of the war. Still, The Christians in Ukraine are doing the same thing that Christians here do for those in need—they are opening their facilities to offer shelter, food, assistance, or something as simple as a shoulder to cry on. It doesn’t matter where they are or what language they speak. And this afternoon, a church comprised of Slavic-speaking people will gather on the premises of where my church meets. This church is composed of Russians, Ukrainians, and Moldovans meeting together. They love one another despite what is going on in Europe.
Every time I get discouraged in my faith, I am reminded that while not everything that is called “Christian” is something that I really care for when it comes down to it. I must ask myself, is my disillusionment with the church going to cause me to give up on it? And every time—and I mean literally every time—I go back to those moments when the church did things that left me speechless. The response to Hurricane Katrina, April’s cancer, the response to what’s happening in Ukraine, and numerous others remind me of what Jesus said to do: love one’s neighbor. Sometimes, that “neighbor” is one like you, and sometimes that “neighbor” is not. I stand amazed once again. And again, encouraged that the church will be there despite what happens.