When I visited my Dad in April, I missed the bus by seconds that was going to take me to Canterbury Cathedral for the morning worship. I ended up visiting the local Baptist church instead. Not only was it a great service, but the pastor later made contact with my Dad and went to visit. It’s the first time in recent memory that I’ve been on the receiving end of pastoral care. I can’t tell you how much it meant to me that he took the time to do something that we couldn’t do for ourselves. This leads to one of the things that keep me up at night. I recently studied some of Paul’s teaching on caring for widows. By extension, I think he was talking about all the types of needs you meet in a local church. Since we’re family, their problems really are our problems. Last night, Charlene and I were chatting on the porch about the fact that Jesus talked about love as the distinctive characteristic that would set us – his people – apart. Love: not a gushy feeling but the reality of being there for people when needed, giving ourselves to them. The most basic thing, yet the hardest thing to fake. I’m thinking through structural barriers to living this out – our lives aren’t currently enmeshed enough to be aware of each other’s need, which is itself an issue. We’re also too big to really notice each other, and there are all kinds of people who are probably falling through the cracks. We have widows among us, single parents trying their best, all kinds of other needs. I heard Tim Sanders speak on how many people are close to the breaking point for want of a kind word or gesture. I pray to God we can learn to really love each other.