The Living Church

A couple weeks ago, HH and I were eating fish tacos in our Charlotte neighborhood. We were talking about the upcoming Opioid Training Breakfast we would be attending the next day.  (Note:  Nothing says Romantic Date like the words “opioid training breakfast.”)

Church happens here.

Our server – Leigh* – asked what we were talking about and we told her and she said that she knew something about opioid abuse and would we report back on what we learned.  And I said, “Of course.”

Last night I went back for more fish tacos and to let Leigh know what I learned.

Me: (entering the restaurant and seeing Leigh)  Hi Leigh!  How are you?

Leigh:  Good but busy.  (She was balancing multiple plates of tacos in her arms.)

Julie:  Hi.  Where would you like to sit?

Me: Anywhere.  I’m by myself so maybe this little booth.  

Julie:  I’ll bring water.

When things calmed down for Leigh, she came and sat down at my booth.  Julie soon joined us and Leigh said, “This is Jan and she just went to an opioids thing she’s telling me about.

Julie:  Hi.  I’m Julie.  I know something about opioids too.  I used to be a nurse but I went a little crazy in the pharmacy.  That was a while ago.

Eventually the bartender also came over and all of us were talking about what the community needs for people who deal with opioid and other substance abuse.  We compared experiences and rehab clinics we knew about and – bonus – I learned about the 19 Crimes Wine phone app that turns wine labels into history lessons.  (Please drink wine and other adult beverages responsibly.)

And it occurs to me that this – what I experienced over fish tacos last night – is The Living Church.  I will be praying that Julie has a healthy happy baby sometime this summer.  Leigh and I will continue to connect about opioids.  The bartender will continue to welcome people at his restaurant.  We have chosen to be a little community over there.

Here’s what nobody outside the Church cares about:

  • Whether or not the pastor wears a robe.
  • Whether or not the front door needs new paint.
  • Whether or not the church building is on an historic register.
  • Whether or not there are screens in the sanctuary.

The Living Church cares if the sick are healed and the lonely find community and the imprisoned are visited and the hungry find nourishment and the homeless find shelter.  The Living Church sees you and knows your name.

You can even be an introvert and be part of The Living Church.

Also, here’s info about the 19 Crimes app.

*Names have been changed – except for my own.

Image of my favorite fish taco place.


2 responses to “The Living Church

  1. I’m glad to hear you are trying to be educated about opioids. I’m (almost) 75 years old. When I was 20, I was very ill with an infected gall bladder that it took a long time to diagnose. I spent 2 weeks in the hospital before the diagnosis, and 2 weeks in the hospital after my operation to remove the infected gall bladder. During that time I had lots and lots of pain killers. Remember this was 1965, and I mostly had morphine – for 4 weeks. Thank goodness I didn’t have either the opportunity or the connection to be able to buy any opioids, because if I could have I would have.
    Fast forward 55 years to today. After my hernia surgery (and thanks I was fine at my 2-week post-op today), I was prescribed OxyContin. I wasn’t in a lot of pain, and I quit taking it 4 days after the surgery. Today, I took the remaining pills to the pharmacy, because, even though I don’t need them for pain control, the fact that they were sitting in the drawer, in case I wanted them, was beginning to wander through my brain at inopportune times. I HAD to get those pills out of the house and away from me. So I completely understand how opioids can come to rule your life.


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