It’s strange when the pastor now is the one being visited and prayed for when normally he is the one who does the hospital visitation. I actually got an email from his church staff to stop visitors because he needed the rest and constant “entertaining” of visitors got his blood-pressure shot up! Not good for one who just had a mild stroke.
I was happy to pray for him. And I prayed honestly and hopefully. “No hype no hysteria” (which I learnt after the Y2K scare!). We have just “rest” assured we are in good hands … God’s hands.
This visit brought back many memories on how I used to handle the experience of pain and suffering of others. I thought about the changes I went through in how to “view” pain, the transformed approach in “prayer”, the caution in the need to “give some explanation”, and much more … I don’t think I believe less (as opposed to some triumphalistic approach), I just feel the “quality” of faith, trust and belief is different – I hope it’s more authentic and closer to the heart of Jesus.
I was wondering “Would living and serving in a community/church where there’s a miracle healing emphasis make it more pressurizing for someone like him to recover?” (many eyes are watching!).
This build up to my sharing on the book of Job starting this week has sensitized my own perception of pain, protest, suffering, and how how God works in all this. Personally, it has been very real. And then what’s happening around me makes it even more so.
I recall a youth (from another church) influenced by a more “positive-enthusiatic” kind of Christianity, telling me we must not dwell in the book of Job (I suspect because he’s worried we become a people without faith) as I was sharing how important the book is for Christians. But, reality tells me that a robust-chastised-refined faith is one that goes through the themes/struggles of the book of Job without rushing to the perceived “victorious” end. And I don’t think that’s being “pessimistic” it’s just “realistic” (trying to rhyme here!).
We don’t dwell in self-pity (that I agree), but our faith is in God and not the “formulaic”, “pre-packaged”, “over-rationalized” answers we think may comfort us. For me, the true comfort is I know I am his – no matter what happens!.