I read the note with interest. Everyone involved is part of our extended family. I did not see it coming. There were no warning flags or early indicators. Knowing the writer, the words came across with an intensity that comes from the heart. The message was direct, yet filled with compassion. My summary: I have bad news. I care. I am crying as I write. I know that I would want to know.
Once written, the words were out in the open. There was no room to hide. One had to deal with them or deny their truth. In part because of the sender, the words were embraced with thanksgiving. Now, the long road of caring and healing begins.
As difficult as it is, news is easier when it comes from a trusted friend. This model has been embraced across the generations. When Wisdom Fathers “picked Judas (nicknamed Barsabbas) and Silas—they both carried considerable weight in the church—and sent them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas with this letter,” (Acts 15.23) they did so because they knew the messengers would make it easier to see and accept.
You and I have a calling that comes from this. We have experienced compassion and mercy in our lives. Our lives are filled with the underserved gifts, wonder, and at times even miracles. We know God is alive. We understand that God is involved in the affairs of women and men. We sense the Spirit’s hand in our lives. I believe because of this, we are called to care for others. We are messengers of hope. We are ambassadors of love.
Like the note, the process only begins with words. The heart of our works lies in what follows. We will cry with those in pain. We will celebrate with those that embrace more than what they can see. We will be present – in heart, minds, and when possible with hands.
It is a calling worthy of God. It is a bridge – seemingly wobbly, weak, and uncertain – that we would do well to cross.
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