“I would like to share sobering news with you.”

That is how he began the service one sunday morning. He asked the gentleman to come forward and join him on stage. He handed him the microphone and began to read from his cellphone.

He stopped for a little while to compose himself but could not stop the tears that were falling down his face. He stood there shaking and the pastor put a hand on his shoulder to comfort him and give him the courage to continue speaking.

The auditorium was quiet. I looked down at my shoes to distract myself from looking at him. He continued reading what he had written. He did not go into detail about what had happened but acknowledged the difficult time he was going through. After he was done, he gave the microphone back to  the pastor  and asked for the elders to come and pray for him.

He returned to his seat which was in front of me as the pastor continued with the sermon of the day. 

I looked at him for a little while , I thought it took a lot of courage for him to open up and talk freely about what was bothering him.

I  realised that as a congregation we have a conceived idea of how an elder’s life should be.

We put them on a pedestal and forget that they are also human beings who are faced with their own struggles on a daily basis.

They have an open door policy with  church members whereby we could come in and talk about our problems. I wondered who they spoke to when they were going through their own problems?

I went to church that morning feeling bad about myself and my problems. At the end of the service I was reminded of something.

I realised that I needed to be more aware of other people and to be sympathetic to others. I was reminded that I was not the only one who had problems and I should stop dwelling on them.

Prayer of the day: God I am used to coming to you when I have issues of my own. Today is a totally different prayer. I am asking you to please be there for the elders of our church. I am asking you to please be their comfort and protector as they lead the church to where you want it to go.

During those times life happens. They find themselves out of shape and do not know where to go or what to do. When they are faced with these situations, please remind them to never forget to lean on you or to lose  sight of you.