|Picture Curtesy of Kristen Whalen|
A friend of mine who attends my church was admitted to the hospital this week for some anxiety and mental health related issues. Its something they have dealt with most of their life but they realized that they wanted a break from it.
This person has family close by but I get the impression they aren't close and probably has some baggage there. That's just my assumption! But he says his church is his family, we are his family. We say that to each other lots but it wasn't until this week that I truly understood it.
As soon as he was taken to the ER, people from our church were there! I think at one point there was 15 of us. People have been there pretty much around the clock. Even if we can't see him, we're waiting in the waiting room in case he needs us.
Two or three of his friends, who have experience navigating the system have been his advocates, making sure he asks the right questions and that he's getting the right kind of help. They are coordinating visitors, information, etc. They emailed today saying they are having a "family meeting" tomorrow with the doctor to talk about treatment and next steps. I loved that these 2-3 people who are not his flesh and blood are part of the "family meeting." They know him better then his own family and are fighting for him as a family should. Its just such a beautiful picture of what Christ intended the church to be. This is what being a part of a Christian Community should be like. We should be like family. The people we call on when life is overwhelming and unbearable. The people we can feel safe with when things aren't good. The people we know won't judge or condemn but will love and provide! This is what I hope the rest of the world would see Christians as! This is what I pray the Church will become in the eyes of the rest of the world. A place of hope, acceptance, love.