As I’ve been unwell the past few weeks I’ve been so humbled by the kindness and support offered to me by various congregation members. Friends of mine who are not Christians or a part of a church context find it staggering that people would go out of their way to be so generous and kind. In their eyes it would make sense for family or the closest of friends to perhaps cook a meal or offer to help arrange a cleaner whilst I’m sick. But for people outside of that immediate circle to be so thoughtful has moved them deeply (not to mention me as well). This has been an opportunity to explain the love of Christ that dwells within people.
Another example is how a team full of devoted musicians and technical crew have stepped up and gone the extra mile in my absence. Many of these faithful men and women have willingly served at double services on a Sunday, meaning almost half their weekend is sacrificed to serve our church. With their leader unwell they have gone the extra mile to bless the church by rehearsing long hours, practicing hard, arriving at church hours before everyone else so the worship experience is not only a quality experience but heartfelt and sincere.
My mother has been in Sydney for part of the time I’ve been unwell and she has witnessed kindness and expressions of support in so many ways. I’ve seen the looks of amazement on her face as a card has arrived in the mail or a gift box or meals – the list goes on. The love and generosity of the Northside family has had a profound impact on my mum on many occasions, especially this time as she has had front row seats into the church in action.
The Body of Christ, or simply, the church we are a part of, contains normal people willing to do extraordinary things. The examples I’ve listed (and only a few, when I could write pages on this topic) are in many ways countercultural – not because people who aren’t Christians aren’t capable of kindness but because people who aren’t necessarily the closest of friends or family are willing to be so generous and kind. Galatians 6:2 says, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ” – no one demonstrated random acts of kindness more than Christ himself.
Simply I want to say thank you to all of you who have prayed and supported Kirsty and I during a very difficult time. I’m looking forward to being back on deck very soon and moving ahead into all that God has for our future together.