As we look at the big picture in our preparation to Launch 30 new ministries in 2018, let's remind ourselves of that intimate look of bringing Jesus' presence, love, grace, and mercy into the community...into the life of a single family in need of knowing Him.
It happened on an early morning, I walked into a hospital room…surrounded by a loving family was the small bundle of a baby. What should have been a room filled with smiles and joy was rather immersed in contemplation and watchful sadness. It was not a tense situation, don’t get me wrong. The room had the air of hope but also had been saturated with a life-altering reality – the baby was stillborn. Instead of anticipating days and moments of life, the mom and dad and their extended family were embracing the wrap of swaddling clothes that encapsulate a lifeless, their lifeless, child. I looked at little Olivia and I didn’t see those newborn’s eyes that are searching, trying to make sense of their new world…I didn’t heart the groans, coos, and squeaks that normally accompany such joy-filled seconds of new life. What I beheld was that of a lifeless body…that “look” that is unmistakable – death.
As I walked into the room, I thought to myself, “why am I here?” What possibly could I bring to this situation and to this grieving couple and family? What words of hope? What action of love? What presence is needed? As you might imagine, it is at moments like these that a follower of Jesus depends on only one thing – the love and grace of God. It dawned on me as I crossed the threshold of the room that I was going to have the honor, the humility soaked, spiritually called and privileged honor, of being present with this couple and to these moments of their lives. Yes, it occurred to me as it has escaped my consciousness and awareness before that I was bringing something into that room that was definitely of God’s heart – His presence, His mercy, His love, and the potentiality of transformation and hope. No, it wasn’t about me…it was about what God wanted to do through me…to tell you the truth, I didn’t even know how and what the Spirit was going to do. All I knew is that I had the awesome responsibility and call to bring hope in those moments.
As I walked into the room, I was, in a mysterious, sacramental way, being the presence of Jesus. In the moments of pain, I tried to offer love and hope by being with this family as their life was falling a part. And as I sat with the family, Christ was also sitting with the family.
Thank you, Robin Dugall, for sharing your story and making it personal as we bring Jesus' presence into our communities.
And the idea of bringing Jesus' presence into a time of pain is timely as we approach the holidays. Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's are wonderful times of celebration, but they also carry their share of pain and grief.
God's blessings as YOU bring the presence of Jesus into your community...into the lives of those you love.