Archive for February 20th, 2009

Friday Communion

Friday, February 20th, 2009

On Friday most weeks, I take communion to members of my church who are in the hospital.  When I volunteered,  I avoided telling people what I did on Friday afternoons.  I did it as a sacrifice, and part of that was sacrificing recognition.  I felt pretty proud of my humility.

But I had forgotten about my fear of hospitals.  Walking in the door causes me to hyperventilate.  Seeing medical equipment causes palpitations.  Looking at people who are connected to medical equipment is like watching the scary parts of horror movies with my eyes open.   There are parishioners I don’t know.  I try to think of things to say, but I’m not particularly good at small talk.  And there are patients I know well, and I stay awhile, and a quick afternoon of visits stretches on into evening.

So each week I call to get a list of parishioners in need of a visit, and each week, I pray that everyone will be healthy and I won’t have to go.  The more I hope I won’t need to go, the longer the list for that week is likely to be.  I dutifully force myself through that door to make my rounds, visiting, praying, offering communion with the Lord, and trying not to throw up.

And as I leave each week, as I pray on my way out for the needs of those I’ve visited, I feel blessed to have been able to do what I had dreaded only an hour or two earlier.  Jesus doesn’t ask us to minister to others for the good of those in need.  It’s for our own good, for our own growth.  When I put my own comfort aside for the good of someone else, I’m the one who’s blessed.

So I started telling people about what I do on Friday afternoon.  God turns a couple of hours of terror into an evening of joy each week. Try it.  He’ll do the same for you.