Answer the call, and be present, in love


Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” Exodus 4:10-12

When I started serving in nursing home ministry, I did so hesitantly. I had no experience leading worship or in lay ministry. I was unprepared to serve people in great spiritual need, and the prospect was terrifying. So, I delayed volunteering, hoping someone else would be sent in my place.

I am not comparing myself to Moses, but, like this passage, I wanted to say, “Pardon me Lord, shouldn’t you send someone else?” But, the call nagged at me, so I went. And since then, I have discovered I don’t need to know what to say when someone is in great need or pain, or when they are nearing death. I just need to be there.

Of course, I am working to improve my skills, and I pray God will give me more tools for this work I’ve already begun. But, no matter how much I learn, no matter what skills I master or how hard I work, it never will be me who brings my neighbors in the nursing home any peace or comfort.

Anything good I bring them is of God. Just as God spoke through Moses, God works through any and all of us when we answer the call, and simply agree to show up, to love, to care, and to allow God to work through us. More knowledge and more skills are good. But, we can’t use their lack as an excuse to not show up, to not answer the call to be present, to love and open ourselves up to those in need.

In what ways are you being called?

Give us strength and courage, Heavenly Father, to surrender to your will. Give us a loving and gracious heart, Beloved Christ, to serve your children. Inspire our words and works, O Holy Spirit, and light within us a passion to pour out ourselves for all in need. Amen.

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