Monday, January 11, 2016
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
I can remember when my sister, Beth was in the Hospice House near the end of her life. The last two weeks as she lay suspended between life on earth and life in Heaven I couldn’t help but wonder what she was thinking. Occasionally I would see a tear stream down her cheek, and other times I would see a smile stretch across her face. Those times and thoughts were shared between Beth and Jesus. They were not mine to know, and I remember wondering the power those silent tears and smiles must have held. Were the smiles glimpses of the glory ahead of her? Were the silent tears farewells to the life she was leaving behind?
I was reminded of those silent tears this past week as I was training to be a companion at the same Hospice House where I spent so much time with Beth. As the woman to whom I was shadowing read the Bible to the patient she included her favorite Bible verses. One verse was John 16:2, ‘My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?’ As these words washed over her, I noticed one silent little tear escaped her closed eyes.
Did that tear possess recalled memories of past Christmases or Thanksgivings? Did that tear possess the knowledge of future grandchildren that she would never hold? The more the verses were read the silent tear evaporated and a peace came upon her. Her face took on a look that was one of resolve...one who was being comforted by something beyond us. Her demeanor became filled with the comfort which she was receiving through God’s word. Did God show her the mansion in her mind as the verse was being read? Were the eyes of her spirit opened to see God’s glory as the eyes of her flesh were closed? It is so easy to feel like a trespasser in these private moments between God and His children. However, I was reminded that God uses us as His hands and feet to bring His glory and compassion to a hurting world. Through our involvement with minister in ways we can never know and I’m so grateful that God’s invites us to show His compassion and mercy to others as He has shown to us.
Let us all be attentive that we are the vessels that God uses to extend His character to a hurting world. Be kind and gentle to someone today who needs it – God has placed them in your path.