Deep in the heart of my files, I found a reference to a story Paul Harvey was supposed to have reported a decade or two ago. It seems, at that time, a seventy-three year old man was found pinned under his tractor on his farm. He had been there for a few days, but he survived his nightmare.
What caught the attention of the person sharing this story was the fact that it was the members of his church, who figured out something was wrong. He did not show up for Wednesday night prayer meeting. This guy was always there at prayer meeting. If he was not there, something was wrong!
Members immediately began investigating and that was when some discovered his terrible plight. What I like about that story was this—the man’s absence was noticed!
If you were absent from a meeting of your faith community, small group, Bible study, or prayer group, would people notice? Would it be assumed part of your normal routine (here, absent, here, absent…)?
Something else, do you let members known when you will not be present? At my church, we have a member who is autistic. She suffers from Asperger’s sydrome, just like Temple Grandin. This member is the best I have ever seen at letting me or others know she will not be at a certain event. She offers no surprises, but she does offer accountability.
Shouldn’t we all practice this? Why is it that someone, who suffers from a disease that hampers her ability to relate to people, is the only one in our church, who gets a very important point about what it means to relate to people?
(Editor's note: in the original, I made reference to "Temple Grande." I am sure somewhere on this planet, someone carries the Spanish name--translated--of "Big Temple." However, that is not the same person as the one I intended to reference--Temple Grandin. My bad.)