As minister at St John’s and King’s Park Church in Dalkeith, I have been working fairly hard with a dedicated group of people at our building project, to ensure that we have a building that can be used for the community of Dalkeith, writes Rev Keith Mack.
The pews are out, access for those with disabilities is finally being created, along with space for coffee and a large usable space for all people to use.
However, amid the constant meetings, the building site and the finance reports, I have had every day the privilege of sharing in people’s stories, witnessing miracles, seeing forgiveness bring release and have the opportunity to see God’s love in action.
Here are a few examples: A doctor in our congregation, who turns 82 in the summer, has served this town and his church. He visits people constantly bringing books for children, photos of the beautiful flowers in his garden, listens to everyone’s problems and brings love and light wherever he goes! He retires as an elder this summer and we are so thankful for all his service.
A young father of three who is so passionate about writing that he gets up before his three young kids to put pen to paper and he is about to publish his own book.
A retired civil servant who quietly will make sure that you have all you need, be it supper for those recently bereaved, or babysitting for the minister’s kids! He and his wife leave to go and help with the grandkids in the summer. A lady who works 9-5 weekdays, has a young grandchild on whom she dotes yet still finds time to serve with Richmond’s Hope, a charity that helps bereaved children.
I also get to see people helping others out of debt. I get to see the “storehouse” helping feed and clothe folks in desperate need. I see the friends who meet for coffee every week to laugh and joke and share stories of friends no longer here on earth.
I get to hear their stories and so much more. As a follower of Jesus Christ, I don’t believe in coincidence. I see the hand of God working in all the lives I meet.
I see the love of Jesus being shared with others. Today is your life in a time of “building” or a time of grief? God is with you, he is there in the friendship of friends, in the stories of service, in the tears of suffering. Reach out and take his hand.