For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.—MATTHEW 18:20 (NIV)
The oncologist told my mother-in-law she should stay home during chemo because her immunity was low. That meant she couldn’t go to church. She couldn’t see friends who were worried and praying for her.
“I’m going to church,” she announced one day with a finality we knew not to argue with. “I miss my choir. I miss the music. I miss the sermons.”
She planned carefully for that visit. A comfy, yet stylish outfit. Makeup to hide the circles beneath her eyes from the chemotherapy.
She sat in the back wearing her surgical mask on the first visit. And then the next time, she took off the mask and sang with the choir, her soprano voice echoing through the church. She even went to the after-church social hour.
Those church visits made her confident enough to go on shopping trips and meals with family and friends. She decided that even with a terminal illness, she was going to live life to the fullest. In the weeks when attending church was too much, the pastor and deacons brought oils and prayers to her home and hospital bed. Her decision to return to the church and the friends and activities she loved was a gift to her soul.