Kim wished the floor would open up and swallow her. She settled into the pew and studiously opened the bulletin, hoping no one would notice her. Jeff had been called to work as they were walking out the door to church, leaving her to face this first Sunday back on her own.
The hand on her shoulder made her jump. Taking a deep breath she pasted on a smile and looked up, dreading the pity and platitudes most people offered. What she found was Kyle's smile.
“Some emergency at work came up just as we were walking out the door.”
Becky, Kyle's wife, squeezed past him and reached out with a hug for Kim. “I'm so glad you still came.” She sat down beside Kim just as Deb joined them.
“Kim! I wondered if you'd make it today.” After another hug Kim took a shaky breath and a swipe at her eyes. Becky and Deb caught each other's eye. “Virginia's knee is doing better, so she's teaching Sunday school this morning. It'll be so good to have her back—I've really missed her,” Deb said.
Becky followed Deb's lead. “She must have been able to get that steroid shot she was hoping for. She's been climbing the walls since she fell.”
Kim smiled thankfully at her friends; she recognized what they were doing. “She might have been cooped up at home, but she still managed to stay involved. She called me once or twice a day last week. She's an incredible lady, that's for sure.”
Someone sat down behind them and leaned forward to give Kim a squeeze. It was another one of her Sunday school classmates. “Did you just say that Virginia's back this week? That's wonderful! We'll all be back together again--it just isn't the same when some of us are gone.”
“I'm here! Did I miss something?” Two more couples sat down in the pew in front of Kim, and the ladies reached back to squeeze Kim's hand. She was completely surrounded by her Sunday school class members and their husbands.
Lord, I feel like You wrapped me in a web of love. These sisters You've given me are so precious. Thank you. I think I might be able to face the rest of the world now.
Mrs. Miller leaned over Kyle and Becky. “Kim, dear, I was so sorry to hear about the baby. There will be other babies...”
“Oh, Mrs. Miller, were those your pickles at the fellowship last month? They were simply delicious. Do you share your recipe or is it a family secret?” Becky stood up, blocking Kim's view of Mrs. Miller.
Deb leaned against Kim's shoulder and whispered, “You just keep smiling and let us handle the rest for a while.”
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