to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless...
I saw her yesterday.
She was beautiful.
I had taken the younger kids to a birthday party for a friend at a huge arcade/mini-carnival ride venue. We were with several folks from our church family. Things were wrapping up, it was almost time to go, when 7 of 8's right finger got caught, ironically, in a safety gate surrounding one of the rides.
It was bad.
The end of the finger was so crushed and cut that it was hard to tell the extent of what had happened.
And the Bride sprang into action.
One of my friends helped me wrap 7 of 8's hand in wet paper towels and hustled to the van with me to get to the hospital, comforting 7 of 8 while mopping up blood. Another friend took charge of some of my younger kids and took them to her house. One of our elders came up to the hospital to wait with 4 and 8 of 8 until Mike could get there. Another friend called on the cell as we were driving, praying for us. Our pastor came up to the ER and sat and talked and prayed with 7 of 8. And one of the matriarchs of our church family sat with me as I chatted and distracted 7 of 8 while the doctor stitched everything back up and splinted her hand.
And everyone knew the significance of the injury to her right hand. Because we are family.
Because they know that because of the stroke 7 of 8 experienced at birth, she has significant weakness on her left side. Because they know that her left hand doesn't function too well. Because they know that her right hand is very important in her world.
Because they know.
Because we are family.
The bone at the end of her finger is broken and the end of her finger had to be stitched back together. 7 of 8 was amazing, taking it all in, never complaining, holding still when she needed to, talking with the doctors, doing what they asked.
She's just three and a half years old. And she took it all like a champ.
Although it's a serious injury, her doctors think she will heal up well, with full function of her finger.
We are so thankful.
And I am so amazed, so touched by the beauty and the compassion, the love and the heart of the Bride. The extended community of believers who make this city a home for us. To see the Bride sweep in in all her radiance, with prayers and phone calls, ER visits and distracting an injured toddler in the back of a van while her mama drives like mad to the hospital, all the facets of the Bride's radiance sparkled.
So why bother with church, why invest in the lives of other believers, why meet together and work together and deal with the messiness of each other's lives?
Because the Bride is a beautiful thing to behold indeed.