While getting ready for worship this weekend, I came across a story that I want to share with you from the Desert Fathers. It is a story about attending to the needs of another person in our community and church.
The story goes like this. . . Some older men go to see Abba Poeman, and they ask him what should they do if they see a brother fall asleep during divine worship. "Shall we wake him up?" they inquire. The Abba smiles at them and offers his brothers this response:
"As for me, when I see a brother who is falling asleep during the Office (during worship), I lay his head on my knee and let him rest."
This is a story about attentiveness and our willingness to care for those who need just a quiet place or moment. Attentiveness stretches out toward care--deep care. I don't know a single Christian who has not told me that they are worn down by the burdens of life and faith. Yet what are we called to do?
As the Body of Christ we are full of love; full of the revelation of it. We are full of the experience of being loved by Jesus in such a way that the hustle and bustle of the day meets the warmth of God. As Jesus taught us by his very presence, ministry stop, ministry holds, attends to all the fatigue and struggle. This the place where God is found.
So as you get ready for worship this weekend, and as you finish another week, perhaps take a second and notice who needs your attentiveness? Who needs your care?