Love is patient, Love is kind (1 Corinthians 13:4)..
This summer I have five weddings to attend. I’m sure I’ll hear this bible verse more than once. Recently, these words have taken on new meaning far beyond young couples in love. For me, the beauty of these two phrases is on display every weekend at the church I attend.
It’s a small church with faces that greet new people. We recognize they are new because we recognize everyone. I purposely left out all names, including Deacon, Priest, and Parish. Not because I need to protect anyone. Because this could and should be everyone’s church. Is it yours?
It seems like only a few years ago, we celebrated Deacon’s ordination. It could be longer because babies born since I joined have suddenly become young adults. I’m not sure how long after Deacon’s ordination, Deacon began to exhibit signs of early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. He soldiered on. Symptoms became more pronounced.
The Parish adapted. Deacon continues to serve. He shakes, he stammers, he forgets what comes after when he says, “The Mass is ended..” The Parish fills in the blanks and smiles because we love Deacon. And because we love each other.
Deacon steps to the ambo to read the gospel. His wife steps up beside him. She holds a marker, so Deacon can keep track of the words. Each week, a few more pauses wait for our understanding. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things. Love holds steady.
Deacon writes a sermon. I understand that he labors to get the words down on paper. Deacon struggles to support our spiritual growth. The Priest reads the sermon while Deacon stands by the ambo. I wipe a tear from my eye as I witness Patient Love.
Deacon cleans the chalice after communion. Men who have left their alter boy days long ago, step to Deacon’s side and silently lend a hand. Loved-One wipes a tear from his eye as we witness the Kindness of Love.
I start every new week with Deacon in my heart. And I remember that my Church is a living example of how Love Never Fails.