They came in droves.
Cars pulled up on the grass at the side of the road, or turned into an abandoned gas station across the street. Moms with kids, dads with sons, single college students, and teens on bikes. In ninety-degree weather with sweat beading across faces and arms, they marched up and down the Uhaul ramp, carrying cardboard boxes and bed-frames. I stood in the center of the garage, scanning the boxes for black permanent marker codes, and directing traffic. “Master bedroom? Upstairs, on the kitchen and dining floor, please.” “School books? Garage for now, thanks.”
In the kitchen a crew plungered our plugged up sink, scoured counters, and scraped old grease off cabinets with razors. In the bathrooms, they shined our faucets and scrubbed shower walls. Teens vacuumed the stained carpets in preparation for a carpet contractor from church, and other students wiped windows with rag socks, or perched on dressers to reach ceiling fans.
“I’ll take Daniel to the park,” said another friend, whisking my preschooler away to swim and slide with minis.
Earlier than scheduled the Uhaul was unloaded, and more friends dropped by with sloppy joes to feed an army. The army ate. Sprawled in the grass in the shade from the deck, we caught the breeze and refueled. Sweat glistened, and water bottle carcasses lined up in ecological nightmares.
“Do you have supper plans for tomorrow?” another friend asked. “I’ll bring tacos.”
“We have dressers and desks for you, if you are interested,” said a father and sons. Other friends held onto and stored a loft bed set for one of our kids for ten months, and offered us a t.v.
That night, we fell asleep on drying carpet, in our new home, overwhelmed at God’s extravagant care for us, and the humbling, amazing love of his system – the church body. Without the constraints of a church building’s walls, Jesus-followers from all corners of our lives came together and showered love on us.
We are still humbled, stunned, and thankful to our God for his care.
I am amazed at the way God's people can come together in love.
What about you? When have you felt tangible community? When have you not?
Linking with Emily and friends at Imperfect Prose.