When we moved to Texas from the west coast 4 years ago we were able to buy a house on a golf course. This at the time was a dream for us, as when there are no golfers on the course (which isn’t often), it’s like having a huge backyard.
However one day I looked outside and saw a small pack of coyotes running across the golf course – whoa! At that moment I was happy we had a fence around our backyard.
Then on another morning I looked out and just saw one lone coyote running down the fairway off our backyard. I found myself wondering why it was all alone – where was the rest of its pack? Was it lost? Was it scared?
Running the Christian race you can sometimes feel all alone too, just running by yourself down a golf course not sure where you’re supposed to be going or what you’re supposed to be doing. Sometimes you might even feel lost or scared. That’s why we need the company of fellow believers.
When Jeffrey was about 8 years-old he was able to attend another different church camp (Jeffrey Joins In With His Church Friends).
The children’s pastor at our church (Pastor Matt) called and let me know that a special volunteer who was a licensed physical therapist had offered to take Jeffrey to camp that year – and he would be able to stay overnight in a cabin with some other boys his age! This was such a special blessing.
But Pastor Matt also wanted to let me know of the topic they were going to be teaching at camp that year. It was that as Christians we are not to run with the world, but instead be willing to stand out and come alongside those who may be different than we are.
His premise: The paralytic man spoken about in Mark 2:1-4 whose friends had taken the time to bring him to Jesus. They even went so far as to make an opening through the roof of the house where Jesus was teaching, and then lower him by a mat through the opening down into the meeting.
Pastor Matt stated that if Gary and I felt it was okay, he wanted to use Jeffrey as an illustration. Because the 4 men in Mark 2:1-4 could have just went by themselves to hear Jesus speak, ignoring the paralytic man, but instead they chose to go out of their way to help get him to Jesus.
Pastor Matt stated he was going to teach the kids that sometimes you need to reach out and be friends to those who are alone and need help.
Secondly, Pastor Matt stated that he was going to talk about heaven, and how when we get there everything will be changed, and our bodies will be new – again using Jeffrey as an example (1 Corinthians 15:35-58). In heaven Jeffrey will no longer be confined to a wheelchair!
Lastly, Pastor Matt told of a special surprise for Jeffrey. The church had hired someone to come and play Larry Boy from VeggieTales, and since the camp this year was to be Olympics-based, he was going to have Jeffrey go up front with Larry Boy to light the torch at the start of the camp!
I was floored, and had to hold the tears back as I spoke to him on the phone. Because Jeffrey was often alone – left out of so many things that his classmates were doing. But now for this week he was going to be given special attention. As a mom, my heart was so full of love and gratitude.
Being believers in Jesus, we’re called to have fellowship with one another – we need the fellowship of other believers to spur us on and encourage us (Hebrews 10:24-25). This includes fellowship even with those who are different than we are. We are all related in Christ.
Is there someone who needs you to come alongside them and include them in the “pack” of your Christian fellowship?