Amanda is a worship leader at my church who is 30 years old and was just diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. She is beginning a fight for her life and does not have the money for medical bills. Our church decided to support her in a huge way! They had a benefit concert in her honor last night simply called “Dear Amanda.” Artists like Natalie Grant, Plumb, Mandisa, Danny Gokey, and Casting Crowns gave of their time to encourage Amanda and raise money for her medical bills.
I was so moved to see thousands of people from my church body show up and give generously. They showed their support and love for Amanda in a tangible way. Our pastor prayed over her and encouraged her to soak in the support so that it will carry her on her good and bad days. Mark Hall from Casting Crowns even came straight from the airport to make it to the show ! He said he wanted to be there to share his song, “Praise You in This Storm.” The words of that song washed over Amanda and we saw her truly able to worship.
Why was it so shocking to me to see the church doing what it is designed to do? I think I’ve seen the church get it wrong more than right. As a pastor’s daughter, I’ve seen the ugly side of church politics. At moments in my life, I’ve wondered if the church is even worth my time. There is hypocrisy. There is back biting. There are hurt people hurting more people. BUT I’m learning now that there is also unconditional love. There is forgiveness. There is support in moments of pain. All the amazing things about the church outweigh the bad things every time. The church is God’s chosen way to show Himself to the world so I’m going to embrace it flaws and all.