I could see her from my seat in the choir. She sat stiffly in the front pew, neck brace restricting any movement. Her face was taut with pain from recent back surgeries and complications, but her eyes were focused on the altar as she sang and prayed and participated in the Mass. Amidst the pain, there was an unmistakable aura of joy and trust.
It was beautiful.
There’s something about that front pew that inspires me. Every church has one—the pew reserved for those with special needs.
Those who don’t see well.
Those who don’t walk well.
Those who are in the process of healing.
They sit in that front pew and unknowingly inspire me with their focus and attentiveness. But especially with their joy. Their physical handicaps don’t hold them back from coming to worship and to receive Jesus. Their suffering doesn’t keep them from smiling. Maybe because they know the One who gives meaning to it, the One who first picked up a cross and then told us to do the same and follow Him.
The more I think about it, perhaps we all belong in that front pew.
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