A couple I knew, now deceased, attended the same church throughout their lives. Each Sunday, after church, they went to dinner at a local restaurant. Another group from the church visited the same restaurant. Several members spoke to the couple but never invited them to sit with the group. They were all of similar vintage, so why didn't they?
so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually parts of one another.
On the contrary, it is much truer that the parts of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those parts of the body which we consider less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor, and our less presentable parts become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable parts have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that part which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the parts may have the same care for one another. And if one part of the body suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if a part is honored, all the parts rejoice with it.
The woman (we’ll call her Hortense) wasn’t into fashion. She wore clean but not dressy clothes. She didn’t cut her hair because when she accepted the Lord; He told her to keep it long, and she didn’t know how to style it. Sometimes she (gasp) wore the same dress twice. Shy, small talk eluded her. Who knows how she might have opened up if given a chance? But the longer they neglected her, the more she couldn’t interact. Her awkwardness ran a wedge between her and the group.
Her husband helped at the church during the week and held office. No one else wanted the job.
Hortense suffered such loneliness it became a physical ache. She cried to her daughter because she longed for a friend—one friend. The friends of her youth had died.
The church performed any act of charity for the couple. Good, caring people went there. Among them, a young woman picked Hortense up each week to take her to Bible study. But others made it obvious they helped only to earn points with God. If the couple offered to give back, the benefactor refused. After all, the couple can't afford it.
It wasn’t the business of the giver to decide the reciever couldn’t afford it. Financially, they had what they needed, and more. And no one, especially the elderly, wants to be “beholden.”
And if one part of the body suffers, all the parts suffer with it;
Who in your church needs your friendship: not just your charity? It doesn't take much to add a chair or two to the Sunday table.
Dear Lord, I'm guilty. Please don't let me become so self concerned I can't see the pain of others.