A Second Family
I think my love of music comes from my parents because music always played in the background of our home. Certain songs bring memories of holidays, summer cookouts, celebrations, and even sad times, like the death of my grandmother.
My husband loves music too. So it is no wonder that our children have developed their own love of music. Our tastes include a broad range of music, and it’s not unusual for us to introduce each other to new artists.
Just like I wouldn’t like to live without music, I can’t imagine life without the love and support of family and friends, especially those in the body of Christ.
Visiting a friend’s church makes me think about our need for each other. It’s a small congregation, but the service flows smoothly as each person fulfills different roles. The most beautiful part of the service comes at the end, when the pastor calls everyone to the altar for communion. The intimacy of the moment remains with me long after the benediction. Yes, they are fellow worshipers, but more than that they are family.
The service makes me think of my family. Some of my immediate family live away from our hometown, but most of them are only hours away from my parents. However, my family and I reside across the country and far from everyone else.
I still remember those homesick feelings when I first moved, and the nerves of attending a new church’s service for the first time. When we arrived early for our first visit, we needed to wait to enter the sanctuary. A gentleman stopped to greet us and welcome us to the church. When the service started, we were surprised that the gentleman was actually the pastor. We loved everything about the service and came back several more times before we joined.
Today, our church membership is 26,000 and counting. Sometimes when I think of that number, I have a hard time believing that it is true. This large congregation feels like a close family to me. And volunteering at church is how I found a sense of family and true fellowship.
The different ministries provide opportunities to get involved, meet other members, and learn about the church and surrounding community. I am thankful for these auxiliaries. Working alongside others to reach a common goal shows me the importance of coming together and supporting each other, no matter how large or small the project.
Yes, I continue to miss my family, but my church family fills the void. Friends from Sunday School and small groups are like my brothers and sisters. Some of the women in the missions department seem like surrogate mothers, and a couple of the deacons have taken on surrogate father roles.
It’s comforting to know that I can call my parents and have them pray with me over the phone. But having a brother or sister in Christ hug me or put their hands on me and pray for me can’t be compared.
To hit a rough spot and know that I can call someone to help me brings comfort like nothing else. And over the years, this reliability has reflected the true beauty of family.
- Dorothea Love
Check out Dorothea's blog, www.dorothealove.wordpress.com.