Thursday, July 24, 2008


She walked into my office already on the defensive.
Expecting to have to justify herself she launched into an explanation…that she and her husband were married in my church but had not come back because her husband was not able to sit still for long and so could not have managed to sit through a church service / and that her daughter was married in this church but that they were very busy people and Sunday was the only time that the family was together / and that….

I stopped her and asked what had happened.
She explained that her husband had died very suddenly two days ago. And she did not know where to turn for funeral arrangements. So I helped her with advice on undertakers, and agreed to take the service – which I have just completed, with reverence for the gift of life and compassion for people who have lost someone they loved.

Isn’t it sad that people think that they need a good attendance record before the church will show some kindness. This is probably because we church officials so often act like a religious club: demanding fees and attendance and participation as a condition of receiving benefits.

I am grateful that she came back to us for help: grateful for predecessors who agreed to conduct her wedding, and the wedding of her daughter. And that we could help her family and friends grieve with dignity and love. We do this without asking for anything – no commitments, no money, no bums on seats. This is God’s Grace in action.

1 comment:

eishman said...

... and that is what has, does and always will make PMC the special place that it is.
God bless