Be Present…Let God Do the Rest
By Carol Norris Vincent of Independence, MO, USA
the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. —Galatians 5:22–23 NRSV
As a relatively young (74 years old) resident of assisted living at The Groves, I am offered many opportunities to use my gifts for active ministry. As an elder in the church, I serve as an associate pastor in the congregation here and act as chaplain for residents living in Rosewood, the adjoining extended-care residence.
One Sunday evening, other associate pastors and elders were not available to meet the needs of a Rosewood resident who said he wanted laying on of hands for the sick. I got on my trusty scooter and sped over to see the person who needed some spiritual help.
As it turned out, he was not a member of Community of Christ and did not want this sacrament. He particularly wanted someone to act as a pastoral counselor. He felt he needed someone present as he worked through, in his heart and soul, the darkness he felt had invaded him. He did most of the talking for nearly an hour.
We explored some scriptures and prayed—first I prayed, and then he prayed. I did not need any special gifts to help him. I did not do anything for him except be present in his time of need. The Holy Spirit did all the rest! I am grateful that I was close by and had the means to get there quickly and be present for him.
Prayer for Peace
Spirit of Love, thank you for being with us as we respond to a person in need. You complete our discipleship. You complete our peace. Shalom.
Spiritual Practice: Honoring God’s Call in My Life
Reflect on God’s call in your life. Begin by prayerfully asking to recall particular moments when you have experienced God’s presence and invitation to share your gifts. When has God seemed most real in your life? When have you felt disconnected or resistant to God’s call? Reflect on what you did or might do to become reconnected to God. Write in your journal or reflect on how you can develop and share your gifts with others.
Today, God, assurance of your presence will make me brave.