Saturday, August 15, 2009

Prayer Experience

Four funerals in less than 2 weeks have made me pause to consider and reconsider God's call on my life to minister to those in need of hospice care. It is not that I fear death, but that I am sometimes at a loss for words of comfort. Telling someone to call me if they need me or saying, “I am here for you,” seems pointless and trivial. I certainly will not ask if there is anything I can do for them because once someone responded, “Can you bring my loved one back?” Yet, words are all I have to express my genuine concern and regards. My presence is felt, but what flows from my mouth is so very important. I know the person, who is mourning, is sad and so I don’t want to ask, “How are you?” I can see that they are crying, so I don’t want to give them permission to cry. I know that God will bring joy in the morning, but this is the night and to them their pain is unbearable.

Oh! Yes, this too shall pass, but when? When will they, the mourners, be made whole again? For instance, I still mourn my grandmother whom I cared for and was with when she died. I still mourn my great-grandfather who loved me beyond measure and taught me to love my neighbor as myself, and whom I cared for and watched die. I still mourn my sister, Denise, who was not a sister by blood but a sister/daughter/friend by circumstance and choice and love; who died too young, moments before our last good-bye. How do I care for those whose days are numbered? What do I say to their families? How do I prepare my family for our own deaths?

My prayer: Lord, you’ve given me this cup and I don’t ask you to take it away rather I ask only that you strengthen me to carry it. Give me the words Lord to say to those who mourn, to those who are dying, to those in need. Lord, let them see you through me; hide me Lord, my needs, my desires, my wants, and my doubts. Speak to them in words I cannot imagine. Comfort them so that my a rms reveal your presence, my hugs reveal your love, and my tongue reveals your heart. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.


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