A Warm Welcome Home
As we drove in the driveway of our church yesterday morning, I saw a sweet lady kneeling in the mulch, weeding flowers at the base of our church sign. It brought me to tears to see her there. I thought to myself that she is where she loves to be the very most, here in this place. This is part of her heart worship to God, to make it an aesthetically beautiful place for people to come into. At the end of the driveway was a man who greeted us warmly. We are blessed to be this man’s friend. I think the way he welcomes and loves on people is such a blessing. What a joy rose in my heart to see him standing there! Just driving in that short distance felt like I was coming home, and what a warm welcome it was to come home to!
A precious time
I hold this day close to my heart as this was the first time since March that we were able to meet in person as a church family. Even though social distancing was evident, joy rose as we gathered together outside under the most magnificent of skies. Sitting in the field all together. Sun shining and the filling of hearts. Skies of blue and the mix of somewhat stormy clouds from time to time that we ended up under for only a few minutes.
I soaked in the minutes of our time together, just like I soaked in the fresh raindrops that fell. I know that the moments of time passed in the same amount of speed as normal time, but it felt like everything slowed down for just a little while. It was a time to soak in the moments together – what a warm welcome it was!
What I saw and heard sitting there
As I sat there, I observed all the families sitting together who I had not seen in several months. I knew a lot of what they have been going through during this time and know a lot of their personal stories, their heartaches, and their concerns from the past few months. I saw them through different eyes today because I have missed them so, and I wished I could have greeted them all.
Our Pastor reminded us of the faithfulness of God and how that faithfulness never changes even in the midst of a pandemic. I found his words comforting and something to hold on to as he spoke about some of the different names of God ~ Elohim, Yahweh, Redeemer ~ and their meanings. This is where hearts are restored and hope is found.
Life on this side of yesterday
On this side of yesterday, I find myself holding my time there close to my heart, cherishing the moments, and looking forward to meeting together every week again. In reflecting on my yesterday:
- I wish I had gotten there earlier yesterday, to have slowly been able to talk to more people.
- Staying longer afterwards would be a nice thing to plan on doing next week.
- I am grateful for my church family. What a warm welcome it was!
- If “just driving in that short distance felt like I was coming home”, I want it to feel that way for others who are just driving in as well.
- I belong to the One who knit me together in my mother’s womb, the One I hunger for, the One who redeemed me and calls me by name, and the One who is faithful always and does not change, even when everything around me changes way to often and in too many ways.
- My heart is grateful for what God gives me from His goodness.
While on my lunch break today, I spotted this verse in my Happy Planner ~ “Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things He does for me.” Psalm 103:2 NLT
May you, my reader, think about the good things God has done for you and be grateful for them as we reach close to the middle of 2020 with our one individual and yet incredible life. Can you believe it’s almost July! May the good things from God on your list bring you great joy and thanks as you walk intentionally through this year.