The Hands and Feet of Christ
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' "Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' Matthew 25: 35-40
Have you ever wondered what Christ looks like?
My daughter and I don't. We know for sure what the body of Christ is. These are the people who are the body of Christ for Lizzie and I. They are our church family and have always been there there for us as long as we have been going to Woodstock Community Church. But when I was diagnosed with cancer they really stood in the gap and went beyond anything that could have been expected of them. The gentleman on the left is Greg. He is the Pastor at WCC. The lady in the hat in the middle picture is his wife Toni. When I was diagnosed Toni and Greg invited Lizzie and I into their home so they could take care of us. The Lady in the Black and white sweater pair is Antonia. She is Toni's mother, and she washed our clothes and cooked for us and cared for us in so many ways. The lady in the blue sweater beside Antonia is Nancy. She is the leader of the care ministry at WCC and she arranged transportation for all my doctor appointments and treatments and made sure there was nothing else that Lizzie and I needed. The teen to the far right with the beautiful smile is Brenda. She is the youngest daughter of Greg and Toni. She graciously gave up her bedroom for months so that Lizzie and I would have somewhere to stay. Beside Brenda is Linda. Linda is the leader of Promisedland at WCC. She was one of the many volunteers that Nancy recruited to drive me where I needed to go. On two occasions Linda took days off to stay with me at the infusion center while I was receiving treatment. There were many other people who worked with Nancy and gave me rides, etc...and I don't have pictures of them all but some of their pictures are below.
When I was diagonsed I was one of two active members of the video team and the other member was about to go away to college. I prayed and told God that I needed three ladies who could step into the ministry and figure it out without much help or training. The announcement was made, and before the service had ended three ladies had walked up to volunteer for the job. As well as that Stepahanie agreed to stay in the position even though she would have demands of college on her. Jehovah Jirah!
Below is a picture of Stephanie in her true spirit and two of the three ladies who filled in the gap.
These are the pictures of the face of love to me. There are some pictures that I don't have yet and will post them as soon as I do have them. The most important is my lifelong friend De. The moment she heard that I was sick she volunteered to go with me to doctor appointments and treatments. She sat through surgeries and transfusions and hospitalizations. And she loved me. The other is a picture of another lifelong friend Rich. When I was thirteen he almost insisted for most of a school year that I needed to attend a youth group with him. He wouldn't take no for an answer and on April 14, 1971 I sat at that youth group and heard the message that God loved me. In fact He loved me so much that He came to Earth, lived a perfect life and died a cruel death to pay for my sins. I thought that I needed to be a good person to get to heaven. God's word teaches that no one can be good enough to enter heaven on their own power. Romans 3:23 says "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God". Imagine that, a whole world and generation after generation and no one is good enough to deserve the mercy of God. We all have sinned. But God states clearly that He loves us. John 3:16-17 says "For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through Him." Jesus came. He lived a perfect life and died that death that if we accept the payment He made on the cross we can have eternal life with Him. There is nothing we can do to obtain this perfection on our own. Romans 3:28 says "We maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the law." It is by accepting that Jesus paid for our sins with His death on the cross and the salvation that He gives us freely through faith in that payment that we obtain eternal life. Ephesians 2:8-9 says "For by grace you are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast." My friend Rich had no way of knowing that on the morning of April 14, 2004 I'd be sitting in a consultation room with a radiologist who was telling me that I was sick and may die. But I was greatful that 33 years before the question had already been settled. I had already passed from death into life. And even physical death would not contain me. I am alive in Christ. The picture that really should on this page of people whom I love and to whom I'm greatful for is Jesus. And a picture of Him can be summarized in the whole of all of the pictures on this page. These people are the living, breathing, body of Christ. And I am, and will be eternally greatful to Him.