This past week, I received a frantic call from my wife, Amy. “Did you order something big from Amazon?” She asked. “No, I didn’t,” I said – searching my memory, just in case I had ordered something big and then forgotten about it. “Why do you ask?” “Well,” Amy said, “we just got seven big heavy boxes and they are all full of oatmeal.”
For some reason, instead of receiving 12 cans (which we have auto-delivered by Amazon every four months or so), we received 168 cans – fourteen dozen! Instead of four months’ worth of oatmeal, we received nearly SIX AND A HALF YEARS’ worth!
I quickly went online to review our order and try to return the oatmeal but I kept getting a message that that it could not be returned because it was food. For some reason, the website just wasn’t set up for me to explain that I did not want or need so much oatmeal.
So, I called Amazon on the phone – something that I’ve never had to do – and spoke to a nice lady who was very helpful. Thankfully, even though it could not be returned, the charge was reversed and we were reimbursed for the error. “The bill is being credited back to you and you can eat the oatmeal or donate it,” the lady told me.
You know, sometimes it’s just good to talk to a real person. In this age of artificial intelligence, sometimes there is no substitute for sharing your problems and worries with someone else and having them help you.
This is one of the reasons why I love church – one of fewer and fewer places where interpersonal connection, sharing, and support takes place on a regular basis. Yes, you can find some support if you call Amazon or someone else, but not the kind of support that you can find at church. There aren’t any online forms to fill out or long phone menus to scroll through on a Sunday morning. Instead, there are real people who are drawn together by the Holy Spirit as the Body of Christ – a community, sustained by the abundance of the Holy Spirit, which can sustain us far longer than 168 cans of oatmeal ever will.
Thankfully, the Bedford Community Food Pantry was happy to receive most of the extra oatmeal as a donation. There’s still a little bit of oatmeal left, though, and you might see it pop up in some random places around the church or end up on someone’s breakfast table in the not-too-distant future. So, you can keep your eyes open for some oatmeal, but really, keep your eyes open for the gifts and blessings of Christian community, which BPC has in abundance.
See you at church!
Grace and Peace,
Prepare for Worship
This Week: “Rule of Life – An End of Summer Charge and Benediction”
- Read Psalm 105
- Read Romans 12:9-21
- Read or sing Hymn # 767 – “Together We Serve”