Called to Minister
“To minister: To give aid or service. To minister: To tend to another holding the space for their divinity and innocence to shine through.”
Laura Berman Fortgang (The Little Book on Meaning)
Things seem to come in clusters around here. One son is wearing a “storm-trooper” boot from having fallen down his basement stairs. The other has bulging discs in his neck, and will see a neurosurgeon today. I have carpel-tunnel syndrome, and need to wear a hand brace all the time, and a good friend just had surgery on her foot, and needs a care team to look after her while she recovers. From time to time, we are called upon to be ministers to one another. Some of us do it well, others would rather not. Most of us have a very hard time allowing others to minister to us.
There is a beautiful hymn called “Will You Let Me Be Your Servant” that speaks of ministry:
“Will you let me be your servant, let me be as
Christ to you?
Pray that I may have the strength to let you be
my servant too.”
I don't know why it is easier for many of us to take care of someone else, rather than be taken care of, but I suspect it has something to do with allowing ourselves to feel vulnerable and dependent. We seem to be least among the animals in this area. Liza, my dog, has no trouble whatsoever with being ministered to. In fact, she demands it. And when I fuss at her, she rolls on her back and exposes her soft belly—that's true vulnerability. But, we humans sometimes make it extremely difficult for someone else to take care of us. Perhaps we are more concerned with our dignity than the other person's feelings.
“We are Pilgrims on a journey, we are travelers
on a road.
We are here to help each other, walk the mile
and bear the load.”
We are all called to minister to one another from time to time. And, we are equally called to graciously receive another person's ministry at some juncture. Perhaps, learning to receive, as well as to give, is a task our soul is here to learn.
In the Spirit,