She was three months pregnant — beaming, full of hope, just starting to show.  But in the span of three hours, everything changed.  Her body began to miscarry.  There was blood and grief everywhere.

The doctor said it was fairly common, one out of every four, but it had never happened to her; it didn’t feel common at all.  It felt overwhelming, as if the pain and the sadness of the event might pull her right under the surface of everything, like an undertow, merciless and unseen.  

Then the women at church found out, and quietly, quietly, things started to arrive.  Cards, ham, scalloped potatoes, lasagna, pots of soup.  No one actually talked about it, but she knew she was being held.

Looking back, it’s hard to know what would’ve happened without all that care and support, without that army of kindness, that protection, that companionship. 

This is when the church is at her best.  She’s lovely when she’s singing and praying and teaching Sunday School, but she’s even lovelier when she becomes God’s Word made flesh, merciful and unseen, through butternut squash soup and green bean salad.   

She’s at her best when she acts and loves, like God's own hands.  

She's at her best when she leans in over every shoulder, whispering into every ear, again and again:  "Go.  Be.  Love.  The world needs you."

God of blood and grief, merciful and unseen, help us to be your church.  Help us to be at our best.  Help us to go, be, love.  For your world's sake, and for your sake, Amen.


Thanks to Maggie Ann for this inspirational shot!