The Witness

Woke up this morning to lil mister tapping on my cheek at 4:30a. I didn’t want to get out of bed, I didn’t want to do this day, I tried to make a deal, to bribe, even blackmail mister to sleep just a bit longer. He was excited because his worker was coming to take him out for breakfast, but Noah doesn’t tell time yet so breakfast is when he wakes up. Ive been sleeping on the pullout couch because my shoulder injury makes it difficult for me to get in and out of the loft, so I rolled out of bed and walked the three steps to make coffee only to find out the coffee can was empty. I knew this yesterday but even though I have been to Walmart two times since I still have not remembered to buy coffee, as a matter of fact, I still have NO COFFEE ! As a I said yesterday, the pastor of my church passed away on Friday of this week, today would be our first Sunday without him. Really, I just did not want to do this. If I just stayed in bed I could just pretend everything was fine and I was just playing hooky from church. I’m still in shock. Our church is small with the core people numbering around 50. I knew I needed to be there with my church family but I just hadn’t had time to process the reality of this, I still haven’t in its entirety. Noahs worker came and I did manage to build up some emotional fortitude, get my big girl pants on, got myself out of my pjs, put on my face and started the 20 minute drive to church. The reason I’m telling you all this is because this little church out in the middle of nowhere Maine is the absolute best when it comes to messy, after I tell you what happened today you will see why. I pulled in the parking lot and saw all the same familiar cars I see every Sunday, all but Pastors. I noticed that right off, it was getting a bit real, I panicked for a minute but I pushed through. I stared at the front door with a lump in my throat but forced my self out of the car. As I reached the front door it opened and standing there to meet me was one of the men of our church, he greeted me with a hug and talked with me for a few minutes about Pastor. The sanctuary was full of the same people I have grown to love over the last 10 years. Tears running down their faces. I forced myself into my seat. Over the next hour and a half I watched in awe as this little church did the most beautiful thing with their pain and tears, they didn’t fall apart like we all feel like we might do when tragedy strikes, they pulled together. The ladies sang with tears running down their faces, the men came in between each song and gave testimony about our pastor and they fought tears too. Love filled the church and in our mess no one was left alone. As a matter of fact they turned their tragedy into strength , honor and love. The men in our church stood up and lead in compassion and humbleness with a drop of a hat. It was the most powerful witness I have ever seen. It was a testimony to our Savior and to the Shepard who led us for 14 years. I could tell stories about pastor all night and all the selfless work he did in the shelter ministry and our congregation but my real point in sharing this is mess done right breeds love.