It was only a simple announcement in church, made by our local saint Fr. Michael Morse about the Meals Ministry which delivers food and drink to the needy and stressed, but it captured a defining characteristic of church life: Christian saints love each other in unseen and invisible ways that go undeclared and unglorified, yet nevertheless constitute the backbone of a healthy church.
Fr. Michael was encouraging us church folk to sign up to provide a meal or two for families or individuals in crisis (like, when a family is on hospital-watch for an ill loved one or after a baby is born). He mentioned the number of people who quietly, thanklessly go about the business of serving those in need, sacrificing their time and resources for the benefit of others. They may not be saving the world, but they are doing some of the things that make church church.
To Fr. Michael, they were the “invisible lines of love” that complete the picture of healthy church life. Just as a painter may pencil in lines to provide a framework for an image that is later painted over, the simple and loving acts of those in the church serve as the invisible lines that provide shape and form to the heavenly image of the church, which, on this side of eternity, is awaiting its completion by the Great Artist.
It was just another simple, yet profound, moment that made me thankful for the church and its way of life.