“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. . .” ~ John 14:27
Peeling back the layers of an onion can make a grown man cry. Yes, I have googled the subject trying the preventative techniques recommended. Unfortunately, I still wind up with a kitchen towel in hand wiping away the tears. This morning at the Community Life Church in Forney, Texas, Pastor Paul McDill, made me think of the many layers we sometimes need to peel through to get to the real issue for which we pray when life becomes turbulent. Like walking through a thick fog we grope about lost in the turmoil of just having learned we no longer have a job, or hearing the doctor say, “maybe six months”.
Each day I walk with people in crisis; mostly good, godly people who must come to terms with Bad News. I talk with caregivers struggling to meet the overwhelming physical and emotional demands of a dying loved one. Many times I have sat at bedside listening to a terminally ill patient whose regrets are many, whose memories keep winding their way back to an unhealed wound from a nasty argument with a family member long years ago. They express concern for their loved one’s wellbeing and are often worried about final expenses. I could draw a thousand pictures of anguished faces.
What is it they look for? What is it they ask of God as we pray? When you remove the many coats of paint from their stories; when you strip away the veneer from their lives and read between the lines; at the bottom of it all what you find wanted and needed most is peace. So you will understand then, it is my mission from beginning to end to gently nudge caregivers, patients, and families in the direction of Jesus. He is who and what all long for when the seas begin to rage out of control. When things go from bad to worse he and he alone offers a peace that defies logic, a calm making sense only to the one experiencing it. A peace you want, I want, all want. I’d like to nudge you today in that same direction. Please, don’t wait for the day when I or another hospice chaplain will sit listening to your story.
Peace to all ~ Pat.