Gardendale Nazarene

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Beauty and the Church | Pastor's Blog | Gardendale Nazarene

Beauty and the Church

I saw something beautiful this week.

Wednesday afternoon my family and I went to see our students at primary camp.  It was great to see them at camp and the excitement of them showing me what they had learned during the week.  

This is the first year we have joined with the Mid-South District for our Children's Camps.  The incident I watched transpire did not involve any of the children from our church, but I was reminded of the importance of these types of experiences.  

I went down to the creek to see Aiden Day and Will Rickman jump off a rock into the creek.  This is one of the favorite activities of the campers.  This was at the beginning of afternoon free-time for the campers and the creek soon filled up with kids.  Many of them were jumping off the rock, but most were participating in one of my favorite childhood activities– catching crawdads.  

After about thirty minutes of the kids playing in the creek, one of the girls called out for her counselor.  She had jumped into the creek and her bathing suit had come apart.  She squatted down in the water while the leaders developed a plan.  

What I saw happen next was beautiful.  

A small group of girls began forming at the edge of the creek as they realized what had happened.  As their little minds began processing their friend's predicament, they had a decision before them.  

This little girl, who's modesty was in the hands her friends, looked on patiently.  Then the girls sprung into action– looking for something for her to wear, deciding who's towel was going to be sacrificed in the water to help cover their friend.  

It was a simple moment and I don't think those girls ever considered making fun of their friend's situation.  But, I stood there incredibly proud of a bunch of little girls, most of whom I don't know.  

I watched them walk into the water and help get a towel around their friend and walk out of the water together.

The only word I could use was beautiful.  However, as I have reflected on the incident, I could also call it the church.  

The people of God are called to be people of love and support.  To resist the temptation to respond as the world would respond.  To put ourselves in the place of our hurting neighbor and treat them as we would want to be treated.  

That's what I saw from a group of second and third-grade girls and it affirmed in me the importance of the church.  These girls have learned how to respond in love.

I have a feeling we all are faced with opportunities to choose love and friendship.  The world needs to see the love of our Father and even the smallest gestures are beautiful.  

Go!  Be beautiful and use opportunities to hurt as opportunities to love!

Pastor John