Tuesday, 19 April 2016

The tender joys of being a Pastor.

Those of us who are charged with "the care of souls" are ever glad and awed to minister the good news of God in Christ at those tender moments in humans lives: birth, marriage, sickness and death.

In those time we are privileged to enter into the lives of others at a deep level  at their times of joy, anxiety, pain, sadness, and grief.

Last Saturday "something"  told me to visit J.S. as he lay a dying in a nursing home.  He was cogent and conscious.   We talked about his impending death.  We talked about what fed his soul  (it was music), I prayed with him.

J.S. passed from this life in the early hours of Monday morning.

J.S.'s daughter (A.S.T) is a priest and pastor.

When she received a call from A, that same morning, with the news that A's 61 years old father (D.L) was dying in Hospice Care, A.S.T knew that she simply could not  (in her very early grief and weariness) visit and pray with D.L., so she asked me to do so, (Fortunately I knew him). 

So it was that I twice visited and prayed with D.L. and his immediate family, (one daughter A) at Hospice yesterday (Monday 18th)  morning.  He died later in the afternoon.

Today I had the immense privilege of meeting again with A, her husband, and her mother. Together we made plans for D.L.'s funeral at St. Boniface Church later this month, and we prayed together!

Oh my God (I mean this as a sincere affirmation of faith), what a solemn privilege it has been for me to pray with J.S. on Saturday; with D.L. and his daughter A on Monday morning; and again this afternoon as we made plans for his funeral

The "care of souls" is joyful and awesome.


Two Notes

1)  At my first visit on Monday at Hospice, one of the CNA's  expressed her gratitude for my presence and prayers as a Pastor

She said "although I did not have the authority  to do so, I prayed the 23rd Psalm with D.L."

I responded "St.Paul did not say "call a Pastor when you need prayer",  Instead he said "pray for one another".  This CNA did the right thing!

(2) D.L. had been a tough-ass cop and a member of a SWAT team in Virginia.    When he retired to SRQ, and discovered the Healing Mission at St. B's he began to sob.

He said "in all my career I have been surrounded by very bad people".  "Now, as I face death, I am surrounded by good people".

Thanks be to God. 

I add  "in the midst of death we are in life",

For as the wonderful  Dietrich Bonhoeffer (a German anti -Nazi  pastor) said (immediately before he was hanged by the Nazis  with Piano wire).

"This is the end.  For me, the beginning of life".

Dear D.L. "This is your beginning of life! 

1 comment:

  1. You did what you were "called" to do and all were Blessed by that!