Being part of a church community is something I truly value.
Nah, allow me to rephrase. Being part of a church family is something I truly value.
I love that there are people I interact with throughout the week and on Sundays that I otherwise wouldn’t get to know.
True, there are church family members that can be tricky to deal with, but that’s another post for another day. Heck, in my own extended family there are people that are hard to deal with. That comes with being part of something larger than yourself.
There are also church family members I really love being around. Ones that encourage, bring laughter, great story-tellers, and ones that simply bring peace and calm.
One church family member I cherish is Billy Carrington.
He’s in his early 40s and he’s been attending our church, Northwest Life, for the last couple years with his mother and sister.
I first met Billy when he came to a meeting we were hosting for people interested in our Grocery Ministry. Every week we take groceries to people in our community that are in need of the assistance.
It’s a rewarding job and makes church a little less about come gather here and more about let’s take church wherever we go.
Anyway, Billy started helping out with this ministry in the spring of 2018.
He comes off as shy and quiet, yet the longer you’re around him and the more comfortable he is around you, lookout… He loves to laugh and tell stories.
Billy nearly died of meningitis when he was an elementary aged kid.
As a result of the disease he suffered some memory loss and brain damage. He is disabled. But that label hardly boxes him in.
Yes, he arrives to our church on Fridays using Access (bus service), but he is an amazing worker.
More importantly, he loves meeting people. He loves to pray with people.
Oh man, if you could only see the way he prays for people!
He loves the car rides. He loves Gangster Rap, especially Notorious BIG and Tupac. He loves praise and worship music. He loves when we stop and eat lunch together.
Billy loves well. He is genuine and sweet. He is gentle. He is pure in his love for others. Billy has no angle he’s working. He just loves God and loves people.
Every time he knocks on a door with groceries in hand he says the same thing.
“Special delivery from NWLife!”
That’s his line. He came up with the idea.
What’s wonderful is that he’s bringing people far more than just a bag of food. He’s delivering kindness, care and love.
He’s bringing tenderness right to their doorsteps. He’s bringing genuine interest in others. He’s bringing God’s love with him and sharing it.
I am lucky to know Billy.
Every week he thanks me for the chance to serve. He thanks me for the burger or smoothie or sandwich we had for lunch.
But the truth is, I’m thankful for him. I look forward to my Fridays with Billy. I enjoy watching and learning from him. He’s an example to me.
I want to see people the way Billy does. I want to love people the way Billy does.
Thank you, Billy.
You show me what Jesus must be like.