Healing Power

Running commentary on how Jesus' Healing Power is affecting my life - and helping me to help others.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Just let me...

A family friend passed away last night. My phone rang at 2:53 am with a tearful granddaughter asking me to please come to the hospital. I told her I was on my way.

But this resolute answer, and the decision to immediately go, was steeped in years of, "OK, I'll be there. Let me just..." This answer plagued me when my friend went into the hospital for the last time two months ago.

"Let me just..." (fill in the blank). Maybe i'm being asked to do something I know is right and proper (visit a friend in the hospital) but I just don't want to do ti. I'll be frank with you - I hate hospitals. It's the one thing that I fear should I ever become a paid pastor. "I have to go in there?" Prison doesn't bother me. (I'm writing this in a prison chaplain's office between visits.) But hospitals give me the creeps. When asked to go to a hospital and visit, I'll say, "OK, I'll go. Let me just..."

What was the only time Christ delayed? When He was summoned to visit (and, perhaps, heal) his dying friend Lazarus, He delayed. But He had a motive and didn't provide an excuse, "Let me just turn this water into wine." or "Let me just chastise these Pharisees." No, he said, "I am delaying so you may see the full Glory of God. (Clay's Paraphrase) I can't use that line, no matter how good it sounds.

So, am I justified in delaying? What if it's just dropping by to say "hi" to a friend with few visitors? "You know I love you, don't you?" (hey - that sounds just like Peter...) My aforementioned friend had asked me to come over and help him write his life story. I delayed. I said, "I will. But today's not a good day. Let me just..." Now the opportunity is gone forever. In fact, the opportunity has been gone for weeks due to a tracheotomy. My delay cost my friend his dream. And it's all because I didn't make the time to do something that I actually thought would be quite interesting.

I can't say that I will no longer ignore another's requests. But the twinge of pain I feel may be the push I need to say, "Not now, but perhaps tomorrow? Around noon? Let's go get coffee and talk."

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