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Marshall Hayden wrote an article a few years ago entitled, "Would Every Non-Hurter Please Stand Up?" He pointed out that people come to church wearing their best clothes & their best smiles. Everybody looks happy, so we assume everything is okay. But he suggests that we need to look beyond the facade & realize that the pews are full of hurting people. He wrote, "Over here is a family with an income of $550 a week and an outgo of $1,000. Over there is a family with two children who, according to their dad, are "failures." "You’re stupid. You never do anything right," he is constantly telling them. The lady over there just found a tumor that tested positive. The Jones’s little girl has a hole in her heart. "Sam & Louise just had a nasty fight. Each is thinking of divorce. Last Monday Jim learned that he was being laid off. Sandy has tried her best to cover the bruises her drunken husband inflicted when he came home Friday night. That teen over there feels like he is on the rack, pulled in both directions. Parents & church pull one way, peers & glands pull the other. "Then there are those of us with lesser hurts, but they don’t seem so small to us: an unresponsive spouse, a boring job, a poor grade, a friend or parent who is unresponsive ...on & on the stories go. The lonely, the dying, the discouraged, the exhausted, they’re all here."


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