Over the past year, I’ve been around some truly sick people – young and old, all ethnicities, men and women, joyful and sad – some with family or friends or some alone for whatever reasons.
There is another difference – a very striking difference in these sick people – the ATTITUDES of both sick and their helpers. Some patients curl up in the fetal position while their support person visits with others on the cell phone. Some are serious and withdrawn into themselves. Others are talkative, teasing the staff and being teased in return. There are those who smile and those who don’t. Between patients, there are occasional visits about family, farm work, and yes, even our illnesses, treatments – and our anxieties.
Then there are those special people who give witness to their very personal and powerful peace and trust in God in the face of multiple treatments of their disease. The same reconciling peace can be found in a hospital room where a patient is actively dying and when sorrow over the coming loss is replaced by an undeniable sense of calm and trust of acceptance that it is time to let go as hard as that is.
“Peace” is not just the ending or temporary cessation of national conflict and wars. “Peace” is not just a word to be found on Christmas cards. God’s “Peace” is much, much more. As Paul wrote in Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Let us pray: Loving God, we acknowledge that we are “double-minded” sinners and need to cleanse our hands and purify our hearts to make room for you in our lives. Forgive our wanderings, Lord, and help us to come closer to you and to those we meet each and every day. Amen
Here’s our challenge: Make eye contact and smile at a stranger. Have at least one conversation with someone with whom you wouldn’t normally spend time. And when the time comes, Merry Christmas!
Pastor Lorene Glant, retired