I grew up on a dairy farm in Norfolk County, Virginia. All of my grandparents and aunts and uncles lived within ten miles of the farm. Every Friday afternoon my family went into town to shop at the grocery store. My brother and sisters and I would visit our grandparents while our parents shopped. We enjoyed “going to town,” to visit and to have a chance to go to the soda fountain at the local drugstore. Before and after dinner, our family and the neighbors, sat on their front porches and watched the local activities. We could go anywhere in the neighborhood and be assured that someone knew us. We knew the neighbors by name and they felt free to correct us if they thought we were doing something mischievous. We were Fred and Alice’s grandchildren and knew how to behave. If anything happened to a neighbor, sickness or death in the family, all of the other neighbors responded. Times have changed!
Today, we are so busy – jobs, outside interests, school, sports – that it is difficult to even fit in private family time. In the church, we depend on professionals, or highly trained individuals to provide care to the members. We have ministers, Stephen Ministers, Deacons, and other volunteers providing support to families. Visits are made, calls are made and letters, cards, and flowers are sent to members who are in need of nurture and care. Besides, we reason, they know the “right words” or they have the “secret handshake” or have the “special touch.” Have you ever thought that perhaps you are the right person to speak a kind word or make a visit to a person in need.
I want to let you in on a secret, the task is not difficult, really. Look around on Sunday, greet someone you don’t know and welcome them. You may discover they are long-time members of the church, but that is okay. Visit during the coffee hour with your friends and you might discover a need. Notice the people listed in the Connections publication each week. Pick a name and make a call or send a card. I promise you will feel great and the person receiving the message will also feel great. Give it a try and let me know how it went. You will be surprised!