This weekend, I have been overwhelmed by gratitude for the body of Christ. On Friday night, several of Rachel's friends from a sister church put on a benefit concert for her. As a result, they raised over $3,000 for my parents to take Rachel on a vacation and to pay off some of her medical bills. The generosity demonstrated completely astounded me. These young people have only known my sister for about a year or so, but they cared enough about her to organize this event. It was a beautiful celebration of Rachel.
As Rachel's older sister, I was moved to tears by the love, prayers, and time her friends put into this event. Rachel has never had friends like this before. For most of her life, Rachel has felt left out. Rarely would she complain about it, but occasionally she would express her loneliness to me. As her (overly protective and outspoken) older sister, it made my blood boil when I heard her mocked or when I saw her rejected. But within the body of Christ, she found love.
This is why we are commanded to be a part of a church body. We need a place to serve, a place to find love, and a place to be built up. We need a place where we can see God working in other people's lives. The world tries its best to tear us a part. We need a place that is home.
Before her surgery in January, Rachel had helped with the children's choir at our church. These kids love her. They have made cards for her and drawn pictures for her. They love her because she loves them. She is the most compassionate and caring person I know. But, unfortunately, for most of her life, her peers have failed to notice her.
For years, the cry of my heart has been for her to not only find her value in the Lord, but that her value would be recognized by others in her peer group. I am so thankful for her friends who worked so hard to show her their love. I am thankful for all the people who came to the concert because they care about her. It was a night that I know meant more to her than anyone could imagine or express. And it was far more than a financial blessing to our family. It was a visible expression of the love of God. It was a demonstration of the abundant love of people who have know Rachel. It was a night that screamed at her that her life has made a difference and that she has impacted people in the little things she does.
My heart is overwhelmed with gratitude.