Blessed Are They …

I have spent a lot of time over the years working as a hospice chaplain. It amazes me how many homes I go into where the family has little or no contact with organized religion. It is in those homes, though, where I am able to minister as a chaplain more than I can as a pastor. As a pastor, I am seen as a guardian of a particular denomination. As a chaplain, I come across as less threatening. As a pastor, I am seen as trying to persuade someone to my church. As a chaplain, I am seen as a person truly interested in someone’s spiritual well being. I have also recently read some good pieces of literature relating to hospice, dying and dignity. Let me share two of those with you today.

The first is by Gwendolyn London and is remarkably profound:

“We must realize that dying is a spiritual process with medical implications, not a medical process with spiritual implications.”

 

The second is a poem by Malcomb Goldsmith, from his book: In A Strange Land: People with Dementia and the Local Church

Blessed are they who understand,  my faltering steps and shaking hand

Blessed are they who know my ears today, must strain to catch the words they say

Blessed are they with cheery smile, who stop to chat for a little while

Blessed are those who never say, “You’ve told us that story twice today.”

Blessed are they who make it known, that I’m loved, respected and not alone.

 

And I would add, blessed are those who reach out to the dying, to bring the love and witness of Jesus Christ one last time to souls who need Him

 

Modern Slavery

Human trafficking is one of our generations greatest evils. There are a lot of good organizations out there (such as the A21 campaign) who are bringing attention to this problem and working on solutions. The church is beginning to add her voice to the effort to stop modern slavery as well. While doing research on this issue (which will be the subject of a future blog) Ta Ethne came across the following article which helps define the problem we are facing.
http://www.decodedscience.com/human-trafficking-worldwide-social-problem/21364
Take some time to read this and also check out such the A21 campaign — http://www.thea21campaign.org/

Good theology leads to social justice as beliefs are put into action. We must help where we can. Pray about how you and your church can make a difference.