The Front Porch

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Matt.9:36 (NIV)

There is a great country song recorded by Lonestar  with the lyrics, “the view I love the most is from my front porch looking in."  The best view from his porch is not what is out front but what is going on inside. Let me share my “Lobby” experience with you from May 15, 2022. I hope it encourages you to remember the importance of what happens on our front porch looking in.

Pastor Deana, one of our founding pastors, had recruited a greeter for our Dream Team through her grief support group but was going to be out of town on the greeter's first Sunday serving.  In Pastor Deana's absence, my wife, Connie, and I met with the new greeter, and we were tasked with greeting a new seeker who was planning to visit us for the first time. A recent widow, the seeker had not been a church-goer but needed love and support as she battled, grief, cancer, and the loss of her family business during Covid. However, because of her final chemo treatment, her oncologist recommended that she stay home on this particular weekend, but we were prepared to meet with her the following week.

As we stood in the lobby, one of our Legacy members walked up to me and began to share the burden of caring for her dying husband, his numerous trips from his nursing facility to stays in the hospital and back while continuing to not only care for him but work as well. She needed someone to just listen and comfort, and it was my privilege to be God’s conduit to her.

A few weeks before this day, a young nurse came and introduced herself to me. She recognized me as the “Legacy” Pastor, probably because I was the oldest guy in the lobby with a white name badge. She asked me if I knew of an older nurse in our church family who might be willing to mentor her as a new believer and a new nurse. I told her I would be glad to help her and began to pray for the Lord to make the right connection. Fast forward to this day in May, and one of our regular attendants, a member of my former church, a nurse, and the mother of two grown women, came into the lobby on the way to the early worship service. She was who God had led me to as a possible mentor, so I quickly explained the need to her, and she gladly accepted the task presented.

Between services, a young lady, who is a member at Opendoor and a nurse at the hospital, came up and introduced herself to me. The week before had been National Nurses’s week, and the chaplains at the hospital offered “Blessing of the Hands” during that week. With over 3000 nurses in the hospital, some get overlooked. This young lady was missed so she came to me and asked me if I would bless her hands. I gladly agreed, and there in the midst of all that was taking place on our front porch between two services, we prayed for God to use her hands for healing and care of the sick.

Later, another person walked through the lobby with a searching look on her face. I asked, “How can I help?” Her reply was she was wanting to figure out how to connect. She had heard the invitation to connect during the service, so I led her to the connection cards and where to put it when she was done. She filled it out and dropped it in the connection box, another child connected to the family. Praise God!

Not every Sunday is like this one, and I am certainly not the only one carrying out such ministry in the lobby. A lot is happening on our front porch, and I pray that God is loving the view.

God’s Blessings on you all.

Journal: What is a "front porch view" you've experienced recently?

Activation: This week, determine to have a front porch view in the seemingly mundane moments of life, look for ways to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and encourage someone in some way each day.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, open my eyes to those who need compassion. Place me in the spot where I can be used to meet their need.
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