I can see clearly now… Well almost!

Eyeglasses and eye chart

Thursday’s Thoughts from Pastor David

In the summer of 1986 I served as a Chaplain on the cardiology floor (11th floor) of the Baptist Hospital, now called Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

One of my responsibilities was to go room to room and check in on patients, see how they were doing, pray with them and their families and offer any other kind of spiritual counsel and support.

I entered one room and saw the patient sitting upright in his bed as he was flanked by two gentlemen, who happened to be family members.

I introduced myself as being one of the “Ministers” in the hospital and we engaged in some friendly conversation for about five minutes. After a slight pause in our dialogue, the patient looked at me quizzically and said, “You’re awfully young to be one of the “Administrators” of the hospital.” (I was 23 years old at the time!)

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Confusion and Clarity

Beth opened the door only as far the chain on the door would allow her, while her two chihuahuas barked incessantly at the would be intruders.
Her eyes darted back and forth as the three of us. Two Elders and the new Pastor stood at her door to bring her “Home Communion.”
Beth recognized one of the Elders from the church that I serve and she quickly closed the door, unlatched the chain, flung open the door quickly enough to step out and close the door behind her before her two little canines could chew our shoelaces off.

We introduced ourselves and as I told her that I was the new Pastor she held my hand longer than a normal handshake. She was very pleased to see that we had come by for a visit.

After letting go of my hand Beth said, “Where is the church?”
We gave her the physical address of the church.
Her response was, “Well, where is the church?”

Beth invited us to come in and we sat around her as she placed herself in her well worn recliner as the chihuahuas closely monitored our movements.

And this is the way it went for the next thirty minutes or so.
Confusion…
Beth suffers from dementia.
She was positive she could drive to church if she could only remember how to drive. Maybe someone could teach her how to drive the car that sat in her driveway that hadn’t been driven for a very long time.
Beth’s husband passed away a few years ago, but she was certain that it had only been a few weeks.

Beth asked if there was anyone who lived close by to give her a ride to church. She lives quite a long way from the church in an area of the city where geographically speaking no one attends our church. We told her that there was no one close by at the moment.
About every two minutes Beth would repeat this same question.
At one point Beth looked at me and asked, “Who are you again?”

The three of us were very patient and kind and sincere in our responses and in our conversation.
But there was no getting around the fact that in Beth’s home and in her mind one thing reigned:
Confusion…

SeeingGodatWorkEveryDay…

As Jesus did so long ago, we began to do that which Jesus told us to do in remembrance of Him.
We broke the bread of life and we drank from the cup of salvation.

One of the Elders prayed. The other Elder prepared the elements – the bread and the juice.
I recited the words of institution – “On the night in which Jesus was betrayed he took bread…”

Of course, our service of remembrance was interrupted with questions of the location of the church, comments about Beth’s husband who had just “recently” passed away and how Beth was certain she could drive herself to church if she only knew where it was.

We came to the part in the service where we were going to say the Lord’s Prayer together.
We handed Beth a sheet of paper that had the Lord’s Prayer written out in large print.

We began to pray…

“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name…”

I didn’t need the paper. I have recited this prayer thousands of times. Maybe you have too.
And here was the moment of revelation for me…

I didn’t look at the paper on my lap…
I didn’t look at the chihuahuas lurking around our ankles…
I didn’t even pay attention to the clutter that was around us…
I focused on one thing and one thing alone..
Beth’s lips…

Beth didn’t need the paper either…
With her eyes closed Beth recited the Lord’s Prayer word for word, syllable for syllable…
Without hesitation…
Without interruption…
Without asking a question…
Without confusion…

Only one thing reigned while Beth offered the Lord’s Prayer…
Clarity!

How about we say the Lord’s Prayer today…
Perhaps there is some confusion in your world these days…
Perhaps you don’t quite know your way back to God these days…
Perhaps you are looking for just a glimmer of hope and understanding…
Perhaps and maybe just perhaps…
We can say the Lord’s Prayer together today and discover what Beth discovered yesterday in the midst of confusion…
Clarity!

Would you please pray these words with me…

“Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil,
For thine is the kingdom and the power
and the glory forever and ever.
Amen!”

SeeingGodatWorkEveryday…
Laugh often and Fear not!
David!

David@seeinggodatworkeveryday.com

A special thank you to the two Elders who offered such grace and mercy and love yesterday… Juanita and David.
It was a privilege to serve with you…