18 Jan Love Wears Thermals
It’s been cold.
The recent snow has brought its wintery mix of chills and thrills.
Teachers and students, grateful for the forced sabbatical, complete their “online learning” assignments in time for some hoped for rest, play, or binge-watching on Netflix.
For some JCBC members, however, the mid-week weather provided a unique opportunity to demonstrate what we are all about.
One of our greatest missional partners is No Longer Bound. NLB is a 12-month addiction recovery program for men. Their mission is to recruit addicts, regenerate men, and reconcile families that have been shattered by the devastating impact of addiction.
Twice per month (every month) various groups within the Johns Creek Baptist Church family gather to prepare a meal for the men in the NLB program. The men travel from their campus just over four miles away to meet at JCBC. In addition to the meal, there is a time of recreation, fellowship, and sharing. It is always a beautiful exchange of mutual care and hope. Two JCBC couples (Chris & Julie Sterling, and Wayne & Karen Kirby) lead this ministry and work to ensure this rhythm is kept faithfully each month.
On Tuesday of this week, however, the dropping temperatures and the looming precipitation presented a challenge. The men from NLB would not be able to make their typical trek to JCBC, where our Sanctuary Choir had already prepared a full meal.
Acting quickly, the Sterlings and Kirbys, along with Sanford McAllister and Aaron Rissler, loaded and transported the meal which the Sanctuary Choir had provided to the campus at NLB.
What resulted was a night of great grace. Here is the post found on the NLB Facebook page:
Clearly, the effort meant more to the men than anyone could have expected. Perhaps the most moving moment came during the open sharing time. One of the men expressed how many of them who are in the program struggle at a very deep level with being able to love themselves. Many of them carry around great burdens of guilt and shame. Then he added…
“But you all showing up like this tonight, tells us that we are worth loving.”
And that, beloved, is the point.
I could not be prouder of our congregation, and the compassionate hearts that beat within so many of our members. Don’t let up. We are surrounded by so many who hunger for the reassurance that they are worth loving, despite the plummeting temperatures of human experience, failure, heartache and pain.
In the end, love wears thermals.
Have I told you lately how much I love being your pastor?
Well, I do.
Johns Creek Baptist Church