This morning I drove down to a hospital in San Jose to visit with one of my youth leaders who’s father was in a serious motorcycle accident. It was a horrible accident. I can’t imagine what my friend is going through along with her mom and her brother. Please pray for my friend’s father for a quick recovery. These next few weeks are critical.
I couldn’t help but notice another family who was in need. It was a family who had just received word of a family members death. As I was leaving I over heard one of the family members say to someone else, “You have to get it together. You need to go and say your good-byes.” How do you know when to intervene as a pastor or lay person when you observe someone else in need of pastoral care and support? Do I flip out my typed “I’m an ordained Presbyterian minister ID card” issued to me by the denomination I serve? I have to be honest in that I was disappointed that I didn’t offer some kind of support. When does one intervene and how do you tell the difference between the Holy Spirit nudging you to show Christ’s love and compassion and the need for the ego to be stroked? I’m certain that I don’t want to be the kind of pastor who feels the need and who looks for opportunities for an accolade or two. I also desire to be someone who shows a genuine and authentic heart for ministering to those who are in need of pastoral care as Christ showed a genuine and authentic heart for loving those who sought the need to be cared for. I had a professor in seminary who once shared that genuine and authentic pastoral care often is just being present in the midst of the pain. His whole idea was that maybe as pastors the best thing to do is to just sit, listen, watch, and pray.