I can count the events that changed the trajectory of my life on one hand. In each of those events I saw the Church be Jesus’ hands and feet so clearly.
This particular moment launched me into motherhood. In a short ten minutes, I went from exhausted pregnant woman, resting on the couch after traveling, to exhausted pregnant woman who couldn’t sit down because of a phone call that changed everything. Nervous energy pulsing through my veins as I said to my husband, “Are we crazy? Does this make sense? Can we really do this?”
The year before, we’d prayed that God would allow us to adopt from the foster system. We hadn’t been specific about timing, and welcoming a newborn into our home four months before our biological child was due caused more than a handful of questions from concerned friends and family.
When we received the call, our “nursery” consisted of any empty room with a glider and a Boppy pillow. Not exactly “everything you need.”
Word travels fast in a small town. The next morning at church, people provided a barrage of baby gear and diapers. While our heads were spinning with details, our church presented a beautiful picture of God’s love for his people. They gave us so much, that the baby gear wouldn’t all fit in our car!
During that transition, our church held us closely. They met our needs and loved us—all three of us—well. They even washed our dirty clothes. (Talk about being Jesus’ hands and feet!)
When I worried about all the mommy books I hadn’t read, they comforted me and reminded me. This baby was God’s, just like the baby growing in my belly. God would provide for our needs and give us wisdom to care for these children.
As we look back on the details of our lives, from the moment we brought our foster son home from the hospital until now, it’s obvious that God was working and guiding this joyful little one into our home.
God Provides Through His Church
Growing up, reading Acts 2:42-47 brought a lot of questions for me. I struggled to balance the view of the early church with the church in America today.
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and signs were being performed through the apostles. Now all the believers were together and held all things in common. They sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as any had need. Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with joyful and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. Every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.”
But having Caleb helped us understand. Through this experience, we saw our church provide for our needs, drop-in to check on us, and love us so well through not one infant, but two. They still continue to do those things now, as we live in the crazy (and wonderful) toddler years.
In our busy lives, we don’t always do a great job of providing for one another, lifting one another up, and holding all things in common. But as we brought our babies into our home, we got a front row seat to watch God’s people holding their possessions loosely, using them to bless our family. Because, y’all. Diapers are expensive!
As our church provided for our needs, I was reminded of God’s perfect provision in Jesus, and his love for the Church—that he loves the Church like a perfect husband loves a wife.
It Takes A Village, United Through the Blood of Jesus
As we grow, we rely even more on the church. It truly takes a village, and there’s no village we’d rather have at our side than our church family. Isn’t it amazing that a group of people, who are so very different, could come together and be family in Christ?
How cool is it that I have more eternally important things in common with someone different from me who follows Jesus than a biological family member who doesn’t follow Jesus? Everyday we have the opportunity as the Church to be a picture of God’s love through the gospel to the world. We, as the Church, have the opportunity to teach truth clearly not just in word but in deed through the gospel.
As a new mom, my sweet church provided for me physically, but also gave me the blessing of accountability, guidance, and intercession. They consistently pointed us to the truth, building on the foundation of Jesus himself as cornerstone, acting as his body. May we be his hands, feet, and mouthpiece too as we love our neighbors well, revealing the character and the goodness of the God we serve.
 Eph. 2:20-22, 1 Cor 12
Mary Wiley is a wife and mom of two 2-year-olds. She is passionate about helping women (and especially moms) know and love the truth of Scripture, allowing it to transform all of life. She currently serves with B&H Publishing Group in Women’s Books and hosts the Questions Kids Ask podcast, equipping parents to answer the tough theological questions that their kids ask. You can connect with her at www.marycwiley.com and @marycwiley on social.