Monday night, three inches of rain fell at Vernon’s farm, where the funeral was to be held Tuesday. Rain flooded the buggy parking area, ran through the toolshed where people were to be seated and pooled in the barn. The neighbors anticipated this and by 5:30 in the morning, people were pouring in the driveway. The mess was cleaned up without the family having to lift a finger.
A few years ago, when an accident on the Toll Road claimed the lives of a few men in the same church, it was almost more than one district could handle. So, the surrounding districts pitched in and picked up the slack — warmly, quickly and compassionately.
We hope, and we pray, and we are thankful that this is how God intended it to be. Like a living patchwork quilt, each individual is connected to the pieces around him. Those pieces are connected to another ring beyond the first. When one piece, one soul, rejoices, the entire quilt rejoices. When one person suffers, the whole quilt suffers, and each piece reaches out toward the sufferer, doing what it can to ease the pain, to smooth the path.
Of course, we notice and appreciate the community at times of rejoicing like at baptisms and weddings or business events like auctions. But it is when we suffer a loss, when our hearts are left grasping for answers that we feel Christ’s church most acutely. It is there. It soothes. And it carries us through.
As any quilter will tell you, a quilt is only separate flimsy pieces of fabric without thread and without a backing. The backing supporting us all is Jesus Christ. The thread holding us all together is love. And even that thread, that love, is God.
After all, God is love. And the community is simply an extension of him.
Loren Beachy is an auctioneer and elementary school teacher. He can be reached by writing to 14047 S.R. 4, Goshen, IN 46528 or by calling 574-642-1180.