Shadowing The Ministry Of Healing and Presence with Pastors Lee and Beaumont
This is Pastor Judy Lee with Joann in the Hospital on Thurs. 11/13/13-The laying on of hands
Sometimes illness hits hard and we are unprepared. How can we ever be prepared for that which is unknown and perhaps life threatening? At that times it is so good to call upon those who can pray with us and simply be with us. When I get those calls these days, after my own bout with a rare slow growing stomach cancer and thankfully successful surgery in February of this year, I respond empathically from the deepest level within me. I respond in the Spirit of our loving God. Pastor Judy B. who has gone through, and thankfully through, three cancers responds from the same place. Perhaps that was gift that God has given us as we struggled and overcame with our own illnesses,
Our first call on Thursday was from Joann, nearly 80, who has suffered with many illnesses. We have ministered to and with her and her family for almost fifteen years. We stood together in this same hospital just a few years ago when her beloved husband said good-bye to her and embraced life forever with God. Depleted and dehydrated she was admitted to the Hospital for hydration and study. She is frightened but a woman of strong abiding faith.We visited and discussed her condition and her concerns. We anointed her with the rite of the Church and this brought her great comfort. In the profound quiet of silent prayer in the laying on of hands there is a power beyond description. The above noted picture captures but a bit of it. There is a being with that surpasses any words. Anxiety turned to peace before our eyes.
The reading from the book of James (Chapter 5: 14-15) is shared at the beginning of the rite of anointing. It is such a good one to guide us in this: “Are any of you sick? Then call for the presbyters(translated elders or priests) of the church,and have them pray over those who are sick and anoint them with oil in the name of Christ. And this prayer offered in faith will make them well,and Christ will raise them up…” It is Christ that raises up the sick and all of us.
Our second hospital call was a difficult one as a young person was involved, one we had known since she was twelve years old and I ministered in the Middle schools. She is now 22 and recently diagnosed with HIV+. She and her family are overwhelmed by this news. And while people now live with HIV+ like a chronic but treatable disease, this young woman has become very ill and is already symptomatic. The adults in the family are in mourning and some are in denial. The young people and children are anxious and worried although the whole family shares a strong faith. We prayed and maintained presence with this brave young woman although she could hardly speak. We took the family in our arms and prayed with them. Prayer and presence makes the difference in hope and despair. May each one feel our loving God with them every moment of the day.
Before we went on to our last visit in another hospital we stopped to visit with some of our children. Maintaining loving presence with our children is a priority with us. “Then small children were brought to Jesus so he could lay hands on them and pray for them.The disciples began to scold the parents but Jesus said, let the children come to me and do not hinder them, the kindom of God belongs to such as these. And after laying hands on them,Jesus left that town” ” (Matt. 19: 13-15). Again, we see and feel the power of the laying on of hands and prayer. The triplets have just had their fifth birthday and were excited to see us. Keion was resting after school but his smile made our day!
Our last visit was to Tania in the Psychiatric Hospital. Last Tuesday we helped her in her admission there and we now followed up with her possible discharge planning. She is now homeless and has nowhere to go and and was also struggling with accepting her medications again. After we prayed she felt happiness and peace. She took her medicine to the relief of Staff and we involved the Discharge planner in discussing her options. We are hopeful that she will accept and enjoy the housing we have found for her.
Prayer and presence, being with and raising up. Thanks be to God!
Pastor Judy Lee, ARCWP