To have a friend, be a friend

I talked to one of the people at the fire department one time about how they handle what they see when they run ambulance calls.  The person said sometimes they feel guilty because they have to deal with it by disengaging from the personal part of it and looking at it as their job (my words, not theirs), even though they are volunteers.  They see a lot and they are not designed to carry all of that.  They have to release it.  They are just people.

I can relate.  There are always people in the church who are going through trials and difficulties.  Any pastor who serves a congregation of 50 people or more continuously has people in the church (including the congregations’ families who do not go to church) who are walking through a valley or a crisis.  And it’s imperative that others in the church walk alongside those people.  Most pastors do not have the emotional strength to remain in the valleys.  There is not a pastor who has not come home from a long day thinking they do not have one more ounce of empathy or emotional energy only to be called out for one more emergency.

And the key to me writing this today is that I am not in that place at this moment.  After performing a wedding ceremony today I am going to my in-laws to wish my father-in-law happy birthday.  And tomorrow I might take a nap.  Which means I am writing this exclusively for you today.  Most of the people who read my blog do not go to our church, so I hope you do not see this as a self-serving post.  It is a post reminding people that to have a friend, one must be a friend.  If you are walking through a valley at the moment, I pray that God has provided someone to walk with you.  And if you feel like there is nobody there, remember that God is there.  But for most of you, you are like me, at an OK place in your life – things are not perfect, but also not in crisis mode.  This is the time for you to reach out to someone who is struggling, with a card (yes, a real hand written card), a call, or even a facebook message.  You might just be the answer to their prayers.

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