Key Verse from today's reading: Psalm 22:1, "My God, my God, why have you left me all alone? Why are you so far from saving me - so far from my anguished groans?"
The first time I visited the hospital as the pastor for a person who was dying was a scary experience. This man was a senior citizen and had cancer. I had visited with him in the home. He and his wife knew that he was dying and we talked and prayed together.
After getting the call that he had been hospitalized and would likely not make it through the night, I drove into Enid to be with both of them. I still remember vividly the drive over there - how I prayed for God to give me the right words to share.
This was not my first trip to the hospital. I had already been there for myself several times for various injuries and surgeries. I had been for family members. My grandfather died when I was only 8 years old and we went to the hospital when he was dying but I wasn't allowed in the room back then.
I had been as a youth minister to visit kids with broken arms and even went with the senior pastor to visit others from the congregation to learn on the job so to speak.
But I had never visited someone who wasn't expected to recover.
They ushered me into the hospital room. He wasn't really conscious and his breathing was labored. I prayed with them and hoped that it would provide him some comfort in his passing. After some time in the room, the nurses ushered everyone out but me. Looking back, I'm still surprised by this outdated policy. I remember thinking, "Why in the world would they leave me and not his wife?"
I felt inadequate.
When we feel inadequate, we turn to God. I prayed for him out loud and tried to envision images of the Gulf of Mexico where they had spent so many good times together. I mopped his brow with a wet washcloth and tried to keep him comfortable.
He died that night and God welcomed him home.
|This book is a good one for understanding|
God's work in Christ on the cross.
This is part of the pain of human suffering. We all go through it in our lives as we experience loss or heartache or tragedy. Today is Good Friday when we remember that Jesus experienced rejection and pain and humiliation on the cross. Today's Psalm reflects so much of the Passion of Jesus as we look back. When we are honest with our feelings, it unfortunately reflects our own story as well.
Good Friday is an important day to remember our faith in the Trinity. We see that it is not only Jesus on the cross but God as well. God experienced rejection and loss and pain as a human being. This helps us not only to bear it ourselves but to represent God to others when they suffer.
And amazingly enough - even when we feel inadequate - God helps us to help others.
Breath Prayer: Divine Love, work past my fears.