November 13, 2008

The Ministry of...

Here it is Thursday morning. This is the first day in weeks that I have no little dots on my schedule telling me there is a place for me to be at a certain time. I rejoice in those days.
My friend's the Allen's are being surrounded by those who love them, and there are a lot of that type around here. Ben's services are Saturday at 1 pm at Southern Hills Church of Christ. Visitation will be Friday night at the Hamil Family Funeral Home.
My Christian Spiritual Formation class is almost over. I have two more classes to attend. I have learned so much. The instructor is Dr. David Wray. He is an elder at a congregation here in town and maybe one of the most learned and spiritual people I have met. The jewels that have come from his perspective have been the most precious bits of information that I have taken away from this class.
One of the first things he said is:

Judging someone else's spirituality is dangerous at best and destructive at worst.

Very true. Speaking for myself - Hasn't ever worked out positively for me in the past. At the very least it has built a wall in my heart towards the other person and given me a false sense of pride and at the worst I could look at my heart and it might be compared to that of a pharisee. Bad... we all know what Jesus thought of the pharisee's.

The Ministry of Presence

Just being with others in grief, offering your presence. A silent presence, one that is not intrusive, one that is reverent to the gravity of the situation, one that doesn't prod with questions, one that offers a warm smile or pat on the knee or shoulder when there are no words to say. This one goes along with the Ministry of Tissues.

The Ministry of Parking Lot Duty

This ministry consists of showing up at the hospital parking lot at 4:30 am to make sure you don't miss your friends or family when they are going into the hospital for testing that often starts at 5:00 am so they are ready for surgery at 7am. To make sure that your friend doesn't walk into the hospital alone, or to make sure your friend doesn't walk their child or parent into the hospital alone. For this ministry all that is required is an alarm clock and a good book to read. You just show up and offer your Ministry of Presence in a tough situation. You walk them in, tend to their needs, and sit quietly with them while reading a book, or grading papers...

I have grown in the Lord over this past semester. I have learned to see myself in a new way, I have learned to see others in a new way. The most valuable asset I have to give someone is my devotion. My devotion to be there. My devotion to love. My devotion to growing in my journey with God. My devotion to being a friend. My devotion to be quick to listen and slow to talk.

The Cost to Audit this class - $35
The Time - 3 hours a week

The Life Changing Learning and Lessons....priceless.