Staring at the bulletin lying in my lap, I felt like crying. How could it be true? It wasnít fair, but then life very often isnít. Sometimes it brings blessing, sometimes calamity, often they are equally difficult to understand; why the blessing, why the calamity .
My eyes are glued on a little blurb in the Caring And Sharing section. ďPrayer Needed. Connie Armstrong has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. Please pray for her and her family.Ē
My mind flashed back to five years earlier when Connie excitedly shared the news that she was expecting their second child. I joined in her excitement. Connieís husband, Matt, had been diagnosed with cancer shortly after they got married. Just in case the chemo and radiation treatments would leave Matt sterile, they decided to have his sperm frozen. The cancer treatments had been successful in stopping the cancer, but, indeed, had made it impossible for Matt to father children. However, due to Godís goodness and the marvels of modern science, a couple of years later little Timmy was born. Now again, just two years later, they anticipated the birth of a second child.
A couple months after Connie shared her news with me, I greeted her in the church foyer and she gave me the news that she was having twins. A few weeks later she found me and a little hesitantly said, ďWell, now we have three.Ē We exclaimed together over her news, but imagine the excitement when some time later she told me, ďNow there are four! I canít believe it yet. Iím in shock.Ē Of course she was. Quadruplets! God had blessed them, and then some!
She said she hoped there might be some pink in her ultrasound, but no, all blue! Four boys coming and one home already. The church got together to help and prepared a schedule to bring meals and provide care for the babies so that Connie could get some rest. We also rallied together and bought them a van which would hold their five little guys. Everyone at church helped as much as they could over the years. Thatís how itís supposed to work in the fellowship of believers; everyone helps everyone.
ĒTherefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, ESPECIALLY TO THOSE WHO BELONG TO THE FAMILY OF BELIEVERS.Ē
I shook my head, clearing away the memories. I read on in the bulletin. After the request for prayer for the family, there was a request for volunteers to sign up to help take care of the boys, who are now six and eight, and to bring meals in while Connie goes through surgery and cancer treatments. I went to the booth to sign up after service and the sheet was already more than halfway full.
Weíve been helping for a while now. Connie isnít well yet. Last Sunday she spoke at church. Her hair is gone but she didnít wear a wig. She said she didnít care because we are all family and she knows how much we love her. She thanked us all for taking care of them through their times of blessing with the boys and now, in their time of calamity with cancer.
We donít know what Godís plan for Connie and Matt is, but we know what His plan for us is. We are to continue taking care of them as long as they need us, because thatís what family does.
Fellowship is not just potlucks, socials, and having fun together. Itís not just prayer meetings and Bible studies. Itís all of that, but more too. Sometimes itís literally bearing each others burdens and taking care of each other when calamity falls. Sometimes itís giving up our own time and things and even money when someone else in our fellowship has a need.
ďThey devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.Ē
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