I watched them file, one by one, down the aisle. Two lines, kind of rag tag, some switching over if they knew there was more room on the other side of the rail. Then I noticed one woman, our secretary, leaning in to touch the shoulder of our most senior member who was holding back, barely, her tears. Who knows why? Perhaps the beauty of what she was seeing or it could be that thoughts of her recently deceased son had assailed her senses just then. But I’m sure she appreciated the loving touch and kind words of a friend.
And of course the little baby had no idea what was going on. She simply popped her precious head up and looked at us all with big curious eyes. Some of that “us”, at least for today, was her family. Strangers among us. Nice. But I wonder what they thought when . . .
The dog came down the aisle. All harnessed up. Used and loved by his mistress who, along with her husband, employs a trained service dog to aid with their daily living. When Hoagie or Wally stand and give a good shake the harness jingles, sometimes right up front, and the children love it.
The music was especially good yesterday. We got a two thumbs up from our director. And, you won’t believe this, but our Latin was impeccable. Yeah, Latin. Our 110th language. Or not. But we did it and many of those who heard it told us later how good we sounded.
Here in this place I’m telling you about there is a comfort you can’t find anywhere else. Dogs and those who need wheelchairs are there. Babies and ninety year old ladies, too. Teens putting up with us and the truth seekers. People whose lives have been bent and broken, seemingly beyond repair, find something that escapes them elsewhere. For a while they’re safe and looked after, worried about, and soothed. Sure, we have to go back out again. But after the wine and bread, after the healing oil, after the gentle touch and being able to cry if you feel like it, that’s okay.
Because the One who draws us all together and keeps us through the week, He’s there, too. Loving us more than any friend and guarding us through the week so we're eager to return in seven days for more.
Can you guess where I was?
Image: Free Digital Photos