the weblog of Alan Knox

When there are more thorns than roses

Posted by on May 3, 2011 in church life | 2 comments

When there are more thorns than roses

Recently, I read a post that encouraged people to tell both sides of their “church experience.” While I was thinking about this, I received an email encouraging the same thing. I think this is a good idea. I usually write about the “good” of our church life. I plan to write posts from time to time about the “bad” and the “ugly” of our church life. We all have them; I think it would be good to share them.

The last week to ten days have been especially tough for us. Last week, a friend died. Another friend’s uncle died. Another friend’s sister was in a coma in ICU. This week, a friend’s niece was in a car accident and has a brain injury.

Times like these are always tough on people who want to help, to care, to serve, to love. But, when you’re part of a small group of Christians, and you can’t sit back and wait for someone else to do something, it can get even tougher.

And, of course, the huge issues listed above are piled on top of the normal aches and pains and troubles and issues and work and school and sickness and arguments and questions that families and friends face every day.

Physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually drained… that’s the best way to describe our family over the last few days. And, I can’t imagine what the people who actually faced the death, illness, or injury in the family are going through.

I love the people that God has surrounded me with. All of them have stepped up to serve those who are hurting. But, sometimes, when your group is small – when there are only a few people in your church – there are more hurting people than arms to wrap around them. Sometimes, there seems to be more thorns than roses.


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 5-3-2011


    You have begun to demonstrate another reason why church life is not about leadership, but about the normal life of the Body.

    At least, as small as it may be, and “there seems to be more thorns than roses”, there is MUTUAL support.

    How I longed to see the desert bloom during our years of ministry in traditional churches. They were satisfied to be where they were no matter how they were taught. For many years there were only thorns, and very seldom the odor of a small rose.

    The last ten years were filled with the sweet aroma of roses, although, as you say, small in number. There was still the occasional large thorn, but the aroma of the roses always overcame the stench, and still, many years after, sweetly lingers.

  2. 5-3-2011

    Aussie John,

    Thank you very much for your comment. It was very encouraging to Margaret and me.