The newly installed hospital chaplain, a middle age pastor, exclaimed, "I don't have anything to offer her." He said this as he talked about visiting an extremely ill woman in his hospital. His words irritated me intensely.
I exploded. "How can you say such a thing? You are a Giver of Life, Lifter of Spirits, Healer of Wounds."
He looked at me, knocked speechless by my outburst. The words had leaped from my heart, because they are realities every one of us must know about ourselves. I had not thought out what I said — the description had just poured out.
Unfortunately, that Pastor was speaking for thousands. He was saying what most people think about themselves in relation to others, especially the hurting. They believe that unless there is some profound wisdom they can share, or insightful sentences they can speak, or maybe a Biblical quote to leave, they have nothing to offer. That is so sad; it is so wrong!
Bumper stickers are no longer in fashion, but I would like to put this one on every automobile: I Am a Giver of Life, Lifter of Spirits, Healer of Wounds. I don't like tattoos very much, or I would suggest the same words be tattooed on every forehead. Because that is what we are! That is part of what it means to be "the light of the world." That is our agenda every day, everywhere we go, with everyone we meet.
Three phrases, twelve words, that encapsulate our entire spiritual agenda. That is what Jesus wants us to know about ourselves. When we enter that room, meet a person who is sad or sick, walk with a grieving friend or neighbor, we are powerful, important and valuable medicine for their souls—just by being there and demonstrating the love of showing up.
And I must add once more — for emphasis — that you don't have to FIX the person, or the situation. You can't. And it's not your job. Turn it over to God — he is the one who can fix it. Your job is to love, support, and walk beside the hurting person.
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