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I met a visitor in church today. They tell me that he has been coming to the second service quite regularly, but I don’t remember his name. However, he didn’t look out of place when he settled into the pew next to me.

When the offering plate was passed along, he reached for his wallet. He was planning to put a $20 bill into the collection plate as a contribution to the church’s mission. But the $20 was not in his wallet. He had forgotten to pick it up from his dresser before church.

“Oh well, we’ll just put it in the plate next Sunday,” his wife said. “I’m sure they will still be willing to accept it next week.”

After the morning service, the fine folks from church had spread out a whole table full of snacks for all of us. There was a huge pot of coffee and dozens of really delicious-looking cookies. The room smelled like I imagine heaven may smell!

My friend saw several familiar faces around the table. He said hi to most of the guys. Although he would have liked to visit for a bit longer, my friend “Alz” told me he had to get out of there quickly—before he could make a fool of himself for forgetting everyone’s name.

Here’s what I’d like the people at my church to know.

If you see my old friend “Alz,” don’t go out of your way to avoid talking to him. And when you do visit with him, don’t ask, “Do you remember me?” Just start a sentence using his name. You  could say something like, “Hello, Mike! That sure was a good sermon, wasn’t it?” My old friend will then remember you, and he’ll be glad to interact in conversation with you.

He’ll know he is part of the body of Christ. And so will you.

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