I was recently given my first assignment as a newly commissioned Stephen Minister. I expected to care for someone maybe going through a difficult divorce or possibly a traumatic job loss. Little did I know I would be assigned to a terminally ill husband, father and grandfather. Not only that, he had slipped into a coma. It would be a demanding challenge to my beginning ministry.
On four occasions his wife requested a pastoral visit from another community church but they never replied. My leader heard about her distress and called me. Within hours I was at the hospital ministering to this abandoned and lonely family.
I never had a conversation with him, we couldn’t. But I whispered to him, I stroked his hair and prayed for him. I gave him and his wife communion and lifted him up to the Father in the final days of his earthly visit. And when the decision was made to turn off all life support I was asked to be there.
The radio announcer Paul Harvey was known for his famous tag line, “And now for the rest of the story.” Now it is my turn to tell the rest of the story. I only knew the family a few weeks but the day after his passing they requested I speak at his funeral. What a privilege and honor. I also arranged for one of my church pastors to conduct the service. The family was tearfully grateful.
Listen as Jesus reveals the true definition of honor,
“Whoever serves me must follow me;
and where I am,
my servant also will be.
My Father will honor the one who serves me.”
I am honored trying to do God’s work and that of His precious Son, Jesus Christ. Who would have thought this persistent sinner of a few short years ago would be standing in the service of the Father? It is only by His acceptance and grace have I been forgiven and only through His loving mercy am I able to write these testimonial essays. Does He have a plan for out lines? Absolutely! We need to silently focus on the words of the Creator and hear the instruction He so faithfully and abundantly shares.
Read with me as Jesus teaches at the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles,
“He who speaks on his own do so to gain honor for himself,
but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him
is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.”
1 Samuel 2:30