A Ministry Reflection from the Daniel Foundation. August 2016
Since August is a vacation time for many of the men I visit, August allows me to catch up on some long overdue correspondence. More importantly, this particular August afforded me the privilege of walking our beloved daughter Becky, down the aisle to be married to our new son in law, Eric Carr. What a wonderful day it was! So much to be grateful for. Please pray for Eric and Becky as they begin their life together.
On a more somber note, I just got word, via social media, that our neighbor (who lived alone) died after a prolonged illness. We were shocked. We didn’t even know she was ill.
She was in crisis… and we were clueless. Wished I’d have stopped my mowing, walked over and chatted with her from time to time. Wish I’d have caught up with her when we simultaneously took our trash out. Wish we would have had her over for dinner on occasion. Wish we could have prayed with and for her. Wish…..(sigh).
Jesus once told a parable in St Matthew 25 about ‘Sheep and Goats.’ Sheep noticed, and responded to, those who were easily overlooked. Goats didn’t. It wasn’t that goats didn’t want to respond. It’s that they didn’t know there was anyone to respond to!? ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?
In other words, ‘Lord, we were more than willing to visit, feed, clothe, and care for others. We just didn’t see them.’ That’s what happens when you are in a hurry. High-velocity people do not see well.
Their gaze is forward, never sideways. They have things to do, places to go, people to see….which, ironically, prevents them from seeing other people, like sick neighbors.
I have a pastor friend who has (unwittingly) mentored me over the years. What makes him so remarkably unique is not his theological insights, though they are remarkable. It’s not his ability to speak, though that is exceptional. It’s not his capacity to read people, though his intuition is keen.
No, what makes him unique is this: He’s rarely in a hurry. Always has time or makes time. When you’re with him, you’re never rushed because he never seems to have somewhere to go, something to do, or someone to visit, which affords the soul just enough time and safety to make an appearance. He has the gift of lingering. In a world of hares, he is a turtle….or perhaps better, a sheep.
He sometimes annoys goats. That is, of course, until they are ‘hungry, thirsty, estranged, unclothed or alone’ at which point they both cherish….and envy, him.