READ : Romans 12:9-21
Seek to show hospitality. (v. 13)
My wife and I knew that we might have trouble having children. The extent of the problems would not be known until we actually tried. In 2006 we were ready to start our family.
Each month became a cycle of hope and disappointment. Days felt like weeks. The anticipation would push every other thought out of our minds. It was as if our desire for children could somehow influence the process of conception. Each negative test felt like a wasted month stacked one on top of another, building a wall of sadness and disappointment.
During this time the church was not a place we felt supported. We skipped Sunday services because we didn't know how to answer the question, “How are you doing?” “Fine” didn't work for us. Over coffee after the service, we couldn't say, “I am riding an emotional roller-coaster of hope and heartbreak right now.” It wasn't anything the church did wrong. If people had known our pain, I'm sure they would have supported us.
A true community invites its members to share their pains. Not just the undeniable things like losing a job, or cancer, or death, but things that can be hidden like infertility, depression, or domestic violence. These things will not break forth on their own. They are too personal, sometimes shameful. Hurting people need a safe space to step into and that takes work by us. Are you assuming everyone is fine and missing the pain in their eyes?
Lord, open our eyes to those who suffer in silence.