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Do You Remember Her?

She came to church services for the first time one Sunday morning some months ago and sat in the back row. That was a blessing because she had four children aged from a couple of years to 10 or 12. The children were sweet, but kids can be distracting, you know. It would have been better if she'd left the two youngest children at home or kept them in the nursery. A thin pale woman she was, and she and the kids dressed so-so. At least they looked clean.

I know she didn't put much in the offering basket. No, she wouldn't have been a very substantial member. She and the kids hurried out after services, and only a few people spoke to her. I saw one of the elders speak to her, so I knew the proper things were being done, and I didn't bother to talk to her. They only came occasionally, and they always sat in the back. But, as I said, that was a blessing.

One day she went forward, confessing that having been baptized some years ago, she'd fallen from the faith. Do you remember her now? It was nice that she wanted to correct that and put her life in order. As I recall, she used to bring visitors quite often, and sometimes more kids! None of them looked—well, I don't think any of them would have been substantial members of our congregation.

Someone said she had to work to support all those kids and didn’t look well. Maybe, that was why they only came occasionally to services. Do you remember her now? I recall the elders sent brother and sister X to call on her, and I heard they had a regular class with her and the older children. And I heard someone else may have been attending that class, too, one of the people she brought to services. I also heard she sometimes didn't come to services because of car trouble. But I don't believe that because Brother and Sister X live near them and would have brought them if they'd needed a ride. Brother X has a small car, but she could have left the two youngest at home if the five couldn't fit in the back seat.

The children were darling, but the children were distracting sometimes. I never really got acquainted with her. They never stayed long after the service. It's too bad she didn't come more regularly and be more friendly. It was announced one day that her oldest child had been baptized. Do you remember her now? Wasn't that grand! I was so happy for her! I always intended to congratulate the woman for returning to the fold and the youngster for being baptized, but I last saw them some time ago. I'm still determining what her problems may have been and if they've been corrected, but I heard some time ago that she had an appointment with one of our elders. So, I know that everything was being done that needed doing.

I recently heard that she had been sent our very good form letter emphasizing the proper reasons for regular attendance. I've been wondering if she's fallen away or if they've moved away. A few people I saw talked to her so that I could ask one of them. Oh, there's Brother X, he'll know! Brother X said they’d moved to another area. I'm SO glad they didn't fall away! I feel so much better to hear they've just moved out of our area! I DO hope they get along well and fit in better with the congregation they attend now!

- Author Unknown


“Holier than thou” attitudes are subtle schemes used by the Tempter. James addresses this very same attitude, doesn’t he? A poor man in shabby clothes comes in. “You stand over there.” “Sit down at my feet.” The illustration here is a harsh testimonial of a behavior that is not Christ-like. Much like that of the woman and her children.

“Have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?”

James 2.4

How often in our lifetime have we found ourselves in similar situations? Acting and thinking the same way? We should all take to heart the sobering reminder of a simple, yet profound command by our Lord: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

“Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?”

James 2.5

As we hold the faith, we are called to show no partiality. Mercy triumphs over judgment. I pray our hearts are filled with compassion and mercy. Remembering that we all are in need of the Great Physician.

“She came to church services for the first time one Sunday morning some months ago and sat in the back row….”

- Eric Sanders