At City Pres, we want to be a church that cares well. We want to care for each other, but also for those who come visit, for outsiders, for the poor, for our neighbors, and even for the world. That seems like an impossible task. It often can feel overwhelming.
I have my own problems! I’m just glad to make it to church so many days. I struggle to get there. My clothes aren’t on right. My kids aren’t behaving. My wife wasn’t nice enough to me. I feel distracted. I’m hungry. It’s not a good time for me. The sermon dragged on. The story of rescue was sloppy. And on top of all of that – I’m supposed to greet someone, walk up and give a cheery hello, and make a difference in someone’s life?! It ain’t happening.
It reminds me of the movie The Impossible, the one about the tsunami that hit Thailand in 2004. The movie traces one family’s impossible survival and reunion through the midst of a vacation you never ever want to have. The movie does a great job in presenting the absolute chaos that this destruction caused on the nation and this family. Will they make it?
At one point, the mother is in the hospital, and she’s barely hanging on. One of her sons is there. The place is packed with people who struggle in, and can’t find anyone. It’s a madhouse. The son needs something to do, so his mom encourages him to just try to help somehow. Some way. He starts to try to piece people together, to reunite family members who don’t know the other one is there. Bit by bit he does this. And he sees true joy when they connect. He feels connected when they make it to each other. Now they have hope again.
He didn’t bring much. But he cared enough to do something, to try. How can we care well? How can we care more? Do we serve a caring God, and does that make a difference? The impossible can happen, and we can care because we have been cared for.