I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.'
I have been thinking a lot about those words this week. We talk about what ministry should be...to minister to those described about. It is not as easy as it sounds for some and I include myself in that "some."
Earlier this week we were at the Kemin's seniors home. Although much better than it used to be, it is still a difficult place to visit for me. I really don't do well in those places. If allowed to be honest, there are times I don't want to go. After that we stopped at the Iska home for invalid men. Again, although better than it used to better, it is a heart-breaking place to visit.
What I came away with from those places is the reality that sometimes visiting the sick, or those in prison (like the invalid home), is a challenging call. Flowery words easily spoken give way to harsh, stark realities...like giving hand massages on dirty, blistered hands or managing nausating smells in a building hallway or attempting to engage in conversation with a severely disabled man or critically ill senior.
I am in the midst of learning some powerful life lessons while on this trip. One of those lessons, I think I am understanding now at at more experiential level is how to look beyond the conditions to the individual God has placed in front of me.
Today, that one lesson was reinforced as we spent the day with seven disabled men from the home. It was a sight-seeing trip for them to a historic monument and then on to a picnic at the waterfall. We are getting to know them by name and a little of their stories (if a translator is around). None of the men with us today had every experienced what these pictures will show....
What I can say now....our journey definitely continues...God is moving us to a new place in our lives...just not sure what yet.