My pastor tells the story of discovering the best over the better in a former church. Fairly new in the farming community, he arrived at 6:00 for evening services. He arrived, but no one else did. The building was empty at 5:45, 6:00 and even at 6:15. Discouraged, disgruntled and puzzled, he slowly started to his car. That’s when he saw the lights. Even a mile away on the flat country plains he could tell there were car lights, many car lights. Curious, he drove toward them.
What he found amazed him and then inspired him. Mr. Heiland’s fence was torn and his cows had gotten out. Some were on the road and others were grazing on the grass along the road. My pastor looked from one car to another and there he found his church. Every person he had expected to be at church was trying to help Mr. Heiland lead his cows back into their pasture.
Finally, when the task was done, a church member suggested they just cancel church for the evening. All agreed. That’s when my pastor, with a look of satisfaction and awe, spoke up. “Friends, I think we’ve just had church!” The building was empty but the body had functioned as it should—to help a friend in trouble.
Dianne Swaim has answered God’s call to serve as a hospital chaplain in Little Rock, Arkansas.
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