One of the best things that has blessed my life over the last couple of months has been the opportunity to re-connect with my best friend from high school.
Because of circumstances that are just too complex to explain in one post, I’ll just say there was a period of some 20 years when we lost touch and never even spoke. We weren’t angry with one another. We were just estranged…
About two months ago when it became obvious my dad had only days left to live, I called my estranged friend and told him I was going to need him soon. He said, let me know when you need me, and I’ll be there … and so he was.
Our relationship picked up immediately where it left off. It was as if time never passed. Now let me explain to you the importance of this relationship. If need be, Brady and I would cut our own hearts out and hand it to the other if that’s what was needed to help the other. That’s the depth of our friendship and I treasure it beyond what words might say.
We’ve shared a lot of “catching up” time lately, and yesterday I went to church with my friend at Mount Pleasant General Baptist Church, where some might say is “smack dab in the middle of nowhere.”
What a great experience to go back to the area where I was raised and see so many friends in their home church – worshiping where countless of their own generations have worshiped before them.
It’s a simple white wood structure with a modest steeple – no electronic billboards, no multi media mega screens, no rock the house praise and worship bands – just a small group of people coming together to hear the Word.
Most nostalgic to me was the photo you see here at the top of this post. The “display of numbers” you might say that reminds me of the very church I attended also “in the middle of nowhere” when I was a small child. We had one just like it at Macey United Methodist Church.
A few thoughts on what these numbers said to me.
- At the bottom, notice the modest building fund goal, and the number where that goal currently stands. It’s important to have a vision and to regularly evaluate that vision. As we reach toward a goal such as this, we should celebrate milestone victories along the way.
- Notice the day’s giving as it relates to the previous week and the correlation in church attendance from the previous week to yesterday. Attendance yesterday was one person more than the previous week, but the giving skyrocketed. The takeaway? Yes, one person can make a difference.
- And the day’s attendance in itself? Do you see that? 27 people. Just 27. A small group of committed people CAN make a difference. I’ll bet you that almost every one of those folks came up (and as we say in the South) “hugged my neck,” just for being there.
- And about that building fund goal – they are not there yet, but they are making progress. You keep pushing. You stay the course. You keep the faith. And God will provide.
At Mount Pleasant General Baptist Church “in the middle of nowhere,” they get it.
Thanks to my friend for welcoming me to his church, for showing me these lessons, and for just being there, as he always was, and always will be. Love you, my good buddy.
My college room mate and I have remained best friends since that time 1973-1977. Even though we are miles apart we pick up each time where we left off. True friendship.
I grew up in a church called Mt. Pleasant Baptist church outside Maynard, AR at a crossroads called Pitman. I attend the Homecoming every year on the 3rd Sunday in July and have as long as I can remember. They have similar numbers on their board. Wonderful people attend there……dear friends and distant family members who I know love me, and they know I dearly love them. Though I am an only child and no longer have living parents, these country folks offer me love and a sense of security.
I enjoyed you sharing this!