Notes from the church lady: Time greatest investment in relationship

"Two are better than one… For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow…" Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Cinnamon was missing. Ever since the dog chased all the cats away from their home they were out in the world without food, milk, or protection. One by one the cats cautiously peered under the fence to see if it was safe to return, except for Cinnamon.

One day I spotted her scurrying across the northern area of the property. Even from a distance I saw she was merely a shadow of her old self. I started walking in the direction I last spotted her, calling her name and trying to coax her to come to me. I wasn't the only one as two kitties walked along with me and called to her. They were able to get close to her and somehow convinced her to follow them with quiet meowing.

She was half-starved with dull eyes. Her once flowing reddish brown hair hung in a stringy mass. She couldn't eat very much at a time, but would take a bite or two and a sip of milk while her rescuers stood guard. They seemed happy to have their companion with them once again.

I was so touched by these members of the animal kingdom. I didn't ask them to go with me and yet they sensed one of their own needed help. They were the ones to go into the trees and coax their friend it was safe to go with them. It was an example for me, for all of us to follow.

How many times do people fall through the cracks in our churches? They come faithfully Sunday after Sunday and then miss a week or two. No one thinks about an occasional missed Sunday as the person might be sick or out of town. As the weeks pass, their absence goes unnoticed.

The question was asked in Genesis 4:9, "Am I my brother's keeper?" In this case it was an attempt to draw attention away from Cain because he knew what happened to Abel, but for us it is an acknowledgement that we failed to keep up with our lost church member.

Jesus told a parable in Luke 15 about a shepherd who had a hundred sheep. One day, one of them was missing. The shepherd left the 99 sheep and went looking for the one who was lost. When he found the lost sheep he rejoiced because that one sheep was as important as all the rest. We are like that lost sheep in God's eyes. Every person is precious to God.

What about friendship? How many times does our busy lifestyles separate us from friends? It is easy in this world to lose touch with someone, but everyone needs a friend. Are you available to be that friend when a need arises in their life?

In the last portion of Ecclesiastes 4:10 it says, "woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.

Are you the one to help that other person when they fall? Are you willing to give the time?

Here is a final thought from Rick Warren and his book "The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For. "It is not enough to just say relationships are important; we must prove it by investing time in them…Relationships take time and effort, and the best way to spell love is 'T-I-M-E.'"

Debra Whittington is a longtime resident of Tucumcari. Contact her at:

dawhittington@msn.com

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