I have seen another benefit of family while sitting in the intensive care waiting room during the last two weeks: a family sustains each other. During this time, we have talked together, we have played cards and Farkle, we have even laughed at some of the different stories we have remembered. These moments of lightness have helped sustain us as we have waited for my brother in law to improve following his stroke.
The word “sustain” means to give support or relief to. One way I see our family sustaining each other is by being there to lend an ear, share a story or hold a hand. It’s amazing the sustaining power a good strong hug has for those in need. Looking at this, there emerges a vital component toward being a sustainer: Presence.
This is where I see the analogy of family in the church taking place. The church family introduces the loving presence of Jesus into a community through acts of kindness and generosity. The church family is there to provide personal presence through comfort and help for people going through difficulty. The church family sustains those who need support and relief by showing up. I have seen the church in action and it is a beautiful thing to observe.
People need family for a variety of reasons. I am grateful for the family that God has given me. I’m thankful for the chance to be there for my sister in law. I am also grateful for the opportunity to start new churches across Chicagoland that allow people the chance to personally experience God’s spiritual family. The right family makes a positive difference, who are you sustaining right now?