This past week was the most amazing Holy Week I have ever experienced. Considering I spent a number of them in the Holy Land, that's really saying something. I have never been so involved in the planning and participation of the services. Although I'm not yet a pastor, the experiences I've had during internship have whetted my appetite even more to be doing this for the rest of my life.
According to Frederick Buechner, vocation is “the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet" With the tiredness, yet the high of Holy Week following me into this week, these words describe this job, work, vocation of serving God and God's people more than ever.
I experienced this today as I made my weekly trek to Winchester, VA for physical therapy. It's an hour and a half drive one way. Winchester Hospital is just down the road, so I've been able to combine physical therapy days and hospital visits. Today's visits were especially poignant. One woman had previously been in the local Petersburg hospital for a long time. I became acquainted with her through my times as chaplain there. Now she's in Winchester. She responded very positively to seeing me again and it seemed to lift her spirits. She is a devout believer in Jesus and we had prayer together. The other woman I saw is really struggling and is scared. She also seemed to appreciate the visit and we prayed together as well. We don't always receive that kind of response, that's for sure. But boy do I love doing this.
We are given such amazing opportunities to walk with people in this calling: visit in homes, in hospitals, eat together, worship together, be the people of God together in this place. What a great privilege we have to serve God and others.
We have traveled together through the weeks of Lent, through Holy Week and Easter Sunday. Our journey continues through these next weeks of Easter. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!