And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13:16
In this time of waiting – waiting for our favorite businesses to reopen, waiting for a new normal to begin, and waiting for when we can come together again to fellowship and worship – we have heard of some beautiful things happening.
You are loving well.
Calvary, your stories are being told. The ways you are reaching out and taking care of one another are a beautiful example of the Body of Christ in action. There is no way we could know all the many ways you are expressing love to those in your Journey Groups, various ministries, to friends and loved ones, but we thought we would share a few stories of how our members are being the hands and feet of Jesus to one another.
I am very blessed to have a family in Calvary. A sweet Calvary friend has done grocery shopping for me. shopped at grocery for me. I have received many text messages, calls, and emails from family and friends that keep me encouraged and in the “people loop.” Another precious Calvary friend checks on me often and taught this grateful lady how to Skype and Zoom. I feel very loved, thought about, and prayed for by so many of you with all this communication, as living alone is different than having others in the home. God has given me his peace in all this “different type of living” we are confined to at this season. God’s love has certainly come to me through each of you. I sure miss my hugs as well.
I don’t know where to start with expressing how comforting it was to have my friend check in on me, pray with me, and to keep me spiritually guided while I was so sick during this pandemic. It was quite nerve wracking at times, especially when I ended up at the ER twice and was admitted to the hospital. I had been so sick that communication was an exhausting chore, so I kept things to myself for quite a while. Once I was finally able to reach out for prayer, receiving prayer, support and worship music soothed my soul, calmed me right down, and helped me maintain a much needed depth of peace that is indescribable other than to say I could feel it just wash over me. My friend responded that she had a distinct vision I was in spiritual warfare. I agree. What else would debilitate you to the point of lacking the strength to communicate prayer needs? She also allowed me to vent my fears and frustrations without chastisement, but was able to keep redirecting my focus – all things I had been attempting to do and felt I should be able to do on my own, but seemed much more powerful and effective once I had a partner. One of the clearest examples of Matthew 18:20 I’ve had in a long time.
For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.
I want to tell you about our Little Angel. Although the virus took most everyone off guard, we put our faith in God and who does he send us but our Little Angel, as we call her. A most of you know, Frank and I have no children, so just how good is God to answer prayers? Right away, our Little Angel jumped into action. She goes to the store for us each week and sometimes more than that because us being older, we forget things. When the terrible storm came the other day, there she was calling to make sure we were okay. Really what a great relief to know someone that is holding God’s hand is checking on us to make sure we are doing okay. I really don’t know how we could have made it without her.
From a visitor…
My husband and I only visited Calvary for two weeks before the quarantine began. From the first Sunday we were there, we felt welcomed, loved ,and cared for, and were even invited to lunch by a couple we met our first Sunday there. Feeling connected so quickly is a gift that is very hard to come by early on like that. I have been encouraged as one of your members has checked on me often, and I’ve been blessed by her responsiveness when I reach out. We have been watching the livestream every week from the very beginning, and started watching Pastor Steve’s Prophetic Life Worship last week. We have also been inviting others to join in the livestream services. We feel like Calvary is our home because we have been loved well.
This season has actually helped me to stay connected. Relationships made in person need to be fostered, even if separated by isolation or distance.
I don’t text or call people because of isolation. I contact them because I love them. I want them to be a part of my life whether or not I can see them in person. I feel loved when others think of me out of the blue, and I hope they feel the same when I text a random, “Hey,” or send a photo. Life is better together, even while we are apart.
I was talking to a friend the other day and she was somewhat sad, and a little annoyed, that she was being labeled as at risk and constantly being reminded that those in the “at risk” category are old. Yet there are perks to being old in this new normal, such as early morning shopping times, having someone anonymously deliver groceries to your doorstep, and having your community call and check on you just to make sure your are okay, and your needs are being met. I have been the recipient of those phone calls. The calls from Calvary friends have chased away the loneliness of quarantine at just the right time. Those calls reminded me that life’s routine hasn’t completely been interrupted. Those calls warmed my heart and reminded me that I am loved and valued even if I can’t interact with people in the same way I would have three months ago. In this age where texting and social media have become the main modes of communication, receiving a phone call, and hearing the voice of a real person, has been medicine for my soul. I have also been grateful for the God prompts to make a few calls myself. When I’ve listened to God’s sweet voice and pulled myself from the TV, I’ve been rewarded with hearing what amazing things God is doing in other people’s lives in spite of the quarantine (or maybe because of it), in spite of the learning curve to navigate new technology, and yes, even because of the use of new technology. So, if you haven’t connected with someone by voice, or Face Time, or Zoom, or whatever, give it a try.
Again, these are just some of the stories we’re hearing of how you are loving well. We encourage you to reach out. Make the call. Send the card, the text, or the delivery. Extend the offer to love one another well in a tangible way. You are making a difference by simply reaching out.
Well done, Calvary. Well done!
For God, the Faithful One, is not unfair. How can he forget the work you have done for him? He remembers the love you demonstrate as you continually serve his beloved ones for the glory of his name. Hebrews 6:10 (TPT)