Ever since we moved to the US back in 2011, my wife wanted to attend mass. I’ve never really been a churchgoer, and I’m not even sure God would recognize me if I one day sat down in the pew.
I was not an avid churchgoer but supported my wife’s desire to go to church. That’s what couples do. We support each other.
The church became a weekly Sunday ritual. It was a family thing. We all went unless someone was sick of course. We met people from the community and it helped with the integration when we started to get recognized.
When we bought our new house and moved to a new community, we had to go to church again. It was no longer a routine and it is now an integral part of our lives.
We found a nice little church and became regular visitors. The priest started to know our names, our kids when to religion classes there and they had their communions.
People greeted us. They welcomed us to the community. We integrated.
When I became sick, something magical happened. Something we did not ask for and something we did not expect.
My wife asked the priest to pray for me, and to her surprise, he asked the church to pray for me and our family.
For the reader, it may sound strange, but it was an amazing powerful gesture. It gave our family hope and the support we received was overwhelming.
We hadn’t asked for this, but out of the kindness of our new community, they prayed that we will pull through this.
People asked my wife if she needed help. It was genuine. People followed through with their offers and helped with driving the kids when my wife was with me at the hospital or doctor’s appointment.
As I got stronger and was able to come back to the pews, people were very happy to see me. Some gave me hugs. Most gave me handshakes or just smiled at me. It was tremendous and boosted my confidence, and we finally felt at home.
One day, one of the ushers gave my wife a small bottle of water from Lourdes. It was his last bottle and wanted me to have it so I could heal.
Whether you believe in these things or not, such a gesture warmed my fragile heart. I drank it and when I could meet him I thanked him.
There were people we did not know who approached us to say they were praying for us.
All I can say is thank you and blessed. We are grateful for all the support people have shown us and cannot thank them enough.
The church community has our back, and it feels awesome!