Lk. 10:1-12, 17-20 or 10:1-9
Recently a friend asked me a very good question. She asked whether hospice patients prayed more for physical healing or salvation? I had to think for quite a while before answering or better said, responding to her question.
As a hospice chaplain, I trust that God is there in the midst of every conversation of which I am part. I don’t bring in an agenda to make sure every patient sees Jesus as their personal savior and I don’t bring in an agenda to be the hospice chaplain who can attest to the most physical healings. Perhaps I should move with a stronger evangelical effort on a verbal level. Perhaps my prayer has been dulled by the number of times I have prayed from a place of deep conviction for physical healing and watched the patients die.
July 8th’s gospel reading talks about the seventy-two disciples that Jesus sent out to proclaim the Word of God. He instructed to offer peace on those who would receive it and shake the dust off their feet when they weren’t welcomed. He invited them to preach that the kingdom of God is at hand.
In a very simple way that is what I seek to do. I seek to create an environment of peace for the men and women I meet, who are in hospice. It is my hope that God, who is greater than our imagination can do all things. It is from this simple action to be present and a person of peace that I hope to draw on the intention and energy of the classical Greek verb sozo which can mean to heal or to save. I then leave it in the hands of this Loving God to be the itinerary planner of their journeys.
This effort to bring the good news of the kingdom is not limited to my daily work, it is part of the way in which I seek to live in the world. I am a subversive evangelizer daring to bring the love and compassion of a big picture God to those that I meet.
There are many times when I am not sure of the impact of my words or actions. However, I do feel that call to continue to break open the daily bread of God’s graciousness whether I am sent out with a pack of seventy-two others or whether it is a solo mission.