Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Calm of Communion

I visited someone yesterday who asked me to serve him Communion.  He is dying and barely able to speak but he, along with his wife, are believers and wanted to do this one more time before he goes to be with the Lord.

He was weak and restless--not uncommon signs for someone who is "pre-terminal"--and unable to communicate.  I decided not to serve communion and after reading the Word and praying with him, prepared to leave.  But he began to gesticulate wildly...and we determined that he indeed wanted to take Communion before I left.

We took the elements--he could not swallow them himself--and recited the scriptural references that identify their significance,  We shared communion together-awkwardly, but with deep meaning and reverence for what it represents to a  child of God.

When I left, he was exhausted.  He had invested all of his limited energy in sharing in that moment of intimacy with God.

When I checked later in the evening his wife said he had fallen asleep peacefully and was resting.  There was a calmness she had not seen over the last few days.

There is no magic in participating in Communion, but it is a proclamation of our confidence in  the forgiveness of our sins through Christ's shed blood on the cross.  For all of us who know Christ, it brings a calmness and peace to know we are in right relationship with God because of Christ's work.

"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with god through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access into this grace in which we now stand", Romans 5:1,2.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

a little piece of information

I was processing an issue this week and engaging in dialogue with a friend. I arrived at some conclusions that were unfortunate, but, obvious, I think, given the information I had.  As a result, my counseling response was at some levels inappropriate.

I received a little unsolicited piece of information that changed my perspective; in fact, it relieved me, though I realized it had caused me to reach a different conclusion than I would have with that piece in hand, and, perhaps, inflicted some unnecessary pain upon my friend.

My response was to communicate with my friend, revamp what I had said and to acknowledge that the absence of a little piece of information had influenced my reaction and caused me to reach an inappropriate conclusion.  I was sorry to have added to the pain he was already experiencing.

What's the point of all of this?
1.  Make sure you are responding to the right information.
2.  If you're not sure, take more time and gather the information you need.
3.  If you feel a response is necessary,  carefully and lovingly communicate your concern.
4.  If you got it wrong--minus a little piece of information--make it right.

I am still in the school of learning.  It's a little piece of information I won;t forget.