Simply Show Up
Sometimes, all we need to do is share a story. Thanks to our friend, Hal Melton, Associate Pastor of Missions and Senior Adults at Trinity Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC for sharing this wonderful testimony from Rev. Elizabeth Burgess and the project she led on their Inasmuch Day April 25 of this year.
“Prior to departing for our Inasmuch Wake Med adventure, our group gathered to momentarily reflect on why we were going. More than a project, it was our hope that this morning would bring opportunities to share the love of God and the hope we have in Christ Jesus. Together we acknowledged that failure to bear and share fruit in the Christian life is to keep others from being blessed as God intended.
As it turned out, I believe our hospital visit that morning was on the calendar long before any one of us knew we would be going. Among our first encounters was a family going through a crisis. A member of our group found these weary and worn souls camping out in the critical care waiting area. For them, a warm breakfast provided much needed comfort and sustainment. Our team members with the gift of hospitality were quick to serve. Others stepped up to offer words of encouragement.
As the family started back down the hall to sit and wait, several of our folk circled up to join hearts and hands with these dear folk. The family patriarch was nearing the end of what had been a string of months worth of hospital visits there in the critical care unit. Together we prayed for God’s comfort and peace.
Later I had opportunity to talk privately with the wife of this patient who was now actively dying. She gratefully accepted my offer to accompany her to his room. As we walked together she shared life narrative. Through these moments I determined that due in no small part to the chronic nature of his illness, they had lost touch with a church home. No pastor would be coming. The good news was that they both claimed a personal relationship with Christ. Within minutes she and I stood at her husband’s bedside. It was an honor and privilege to gently and compassionately usher him into the presence of the Lord! As his wife held my hand she turned to say: ‘I know that God sent you to us today. Thank you so much for coming.’
In the meanwhile, out in the waiting area the grieving family of six had expanded to around fifteen. Other team members could be found lovingly caring for these, the broken hearted. Some extended physical nourishment while others were leading in prayer. Yes indeed, God sent us to them on that day and at that hour, for His purpose and for His glory.
Our team was made up of people from all walks of life, ranging in age from High School to retired. Some were understandably apprehensive about participating in this project. Yet, by the close of our morning I witnessed an unanimously shared joy and blessing in the faces of every person who participated. Some even commented that they received more than they gave. Ministry was meaningfully extended that morning to others as well. The secret? Simply show up with a willingness to be present for and walk alongside another. God will do the rest!”
Jesus has called us to be his hands, his feet, his eyes, and moreover his heart. An Inasmuch Day provides those opportunities to share the love of Jesus through acts of compassion. All we need to do is simply show up and be available, God will certainly do the rest.