Friday, February 16, 2018

A different congregation

I apologize for not writing in a while.  

I find myself with a new congregation.  One that looks much different than the last.

As part of a church staff our church family was fit, able and mobile.  They drove to church, had good jobs, were articulate, able body and able to share their thoughts with you.

Now my congregation is much smaller.  They are the cast aways, the forgotten, the dying.  Many cannot speak, some are wheelchair bound, others bed bound, most needing help with eating and daily functions.

It's a humbling role I find myself in.  A pastor to the dying.  One dear lady, in bed and dying, replied when I came in this week, "You mean I get my very own chaplain?" as her eyes lit up with joy.  It's most humbling.

These dear ones are facing eternity.  Some are excited to go and see their Lord. Others have no idea what's ahead and fear death.  All know it is near.  

I never imagined I would say to someone, "You will probably die this week, isn't it exciting?"  And yet, this week I heard myself say those words to one man who loves God and is finishing this life in terrible pain.  

It's a new congregation, but what a wonderful band of broken and dying.  I look forward to what God will do in these dear lives each day.  It seems, when we are on the edge of life and death, we finally become honest, clear headed and willing to deal with the real issues of life.

And so here I go, off to care for his sheep.  The wounded, dying and forgotten.


Judy Jo said...

This is perfect for you, Mike, with your sweet, quiet, unassuming yet tenacious disposition. Who wouldn't love the one-on-one with you? "For such a time as this. . . "Esther 3:14

Alan Heller said...

Thanks so much for serving him

Judy S. said...

You are so precious my dear friend.

Robyn said...

As a family member of a dearly loved person in palliative care, it's encouraging to know people like you are sharing in their final days.