I am humbled by my experiences at a prayer meeting this evening.
The taxi driver was reluctant to leave me in the parking lot. The church building’s neighborhood was less than 3 miles from my hotel downtown, but it was a world away. Drugs, alcohol, prostitution, and crime were not strangers to these lots and back alleys. The sun hadn’t set, but it was dark. Maybe it just felt that way…but the feeling didn’t last long.
I met Mrs. R first, with her aged, smiling face and firm handshake. She was surprised to see me, but the welcome was no less hearty.
I met my other friends, one by one, as they walked over to the door, either from on the sidewalk or from their cars in the parking lot: Mr. S, Mr. O, Mr. C, and Mr. R.
I met a group of God-fearing, neighbor-loving Christians. And they prayed for me.
Each had a shareable list of their own personal struggles: Alcoholism, divorce, alzheimers, jail-time, financial problems, family worries, stolen cars (just two days ago), unemployment, etc. Yet they prayed for me, encouraged by my visit and asking for safe travels.
In reality, it was very much me who was encouraged. And I clearly expressed my gratitude and thankfulness for them, and for their small and mighty congregation. I prayed for them.
You see, these men and women stand as a light in a dark world. They stand as a source of life-giving water in a dry and thirsty land; the “salt of the earth.”
“A city on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5)
The Lord placed our souls together, within the four walls of a church building, for one hour tonight. I’ll be grateful for much longer.