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19 Responses

  1. Em says:

    i must utter the words that i suspect you heard from your Mother many times growing up: “Michael, i swear, you’ll be the death of me, yet!” 😆
    tisn’t funny one bit, tho, is it?

    yes, God bless the medical staff – what you see when it’s “showtime” doesn’t begin to tell you what’s going on backstage … and, if Oregon is anything like Central Washington, for every minute of patient care a (literal) ten minutes are spent on government and CYA forms … teachers tell a similar story

    i want to do the mom thing and lecture you sooo bad, but God keep and comfort and prayer continues

  2. Chile says:

    Michael, I got choked up at your ordeal, as well as reading your take on things. I KNOW what it means to have someone call to ask how you are doing, to have someone show up at the hospital, to have someone allay your fears, to hear people are praying for you, and to have people visit you just to eyeball you for a minute to say they care and see what they might be able to do. These are things that LOVE does.

    Well, actually, I only KNOW what it means because I had longed for it when I was in a semi-coma. The people in my CC didn’t actually do those things, but I know what it would have meant had they done any of them. They said (verbatim), “We are too busy with the ministry to visit the sick.”

    So I got choked up that the love of God flowed through people to you and how that makes all that’s wrong … right, again! I’m very sorry for the pain you’ve had to endure, but blessed by the bright spots in your story!

    Prayed and praying for you.

  3. Nonnie says:

    Wow, Chile….that is sad. I pray that the Lord has surrounded you with His folks now!

  4. Chile says:

    Yes, Nonnie and thank you. We found a healthy long running church that even has a good track record of resolving issues, including apologizing when things were not handled well.

    I’ve been watching these folks for a few years how they humbly, quietly, consistently reach out to care for each other, as well as reaching beyond to those who are not as invested in the church. We’ve learned a lot in a short period of time. They think it’s just common sense and are always a bit amused that we are so impressed with everything they do.

    Michael’s story also reinforces this hope that common sense basic love towards others still exists. That is salve on what used to be a very large wound.

  5. Em says:

    Chile, i remember reading here of your ordeal – your story – “wounded in the house of my friends” – it is cheering to read the above, thanking God that He has you among the people you describe now

  6. Nonnie says:

    Amen to what Em said!!

  7. Em says:

    “Granted, I’m on drugs and may be seeing things from a skewed perspective…or maybe the church is all skewed up.”

    meant to say that i think we all get what you’re saying in your “skewed” mental state – it makes perfect sense – and amen to it

  8. Paige says:

    You know, Michael, “real ministry” goes on all over the place outside of church walls…. as you wrote, in the medical realm, in many schools, grocery stores and neighborhoods…even on massage therapy tables. 🙂 I have learned the hard way, (as usual) that my former definition of “ministry’ was myopic. Thank God for His ‘operations’ and miracles in sufferings that heal our blindness. Love your drug induced revelations….. rest up!

  9. Lutheran says:

    Chile,

    So glad you’ve found the church you’ve found. God bless you!

  10. Em says:

    Paige, my late mother’s doctor prescribed massage therapy for her – for years the woman came regularly with her folding table and it added greatly to Mother’s years and quality of life – you bring true blessings in your service

  11. Nonnie says:

    Another AMEN to Mama Em!

  12. Chile says:

    Thanks, Lutheran, Em & Nonnie. When I hear stories like Michaels, I well up with appreciation for God’s “hands” and “feet.” When I hear of others our former church continues to ignore because they are too sick to be involved anymore, I grieve … well, actually, I get angry and then I call them myself.

    Paige said, ” I have learned the hard way, (as usual) that my former definition of “ministry’ was myopic. Thank God for His ‘operations’ and miracles in sufferings that heal our blindness. ”

    Ditto. Jesus told us to love our neighbor … not only if you think they might come to Christ through it … just love them, He said.

  13. Michael says:

    Chile,

    I thought about you while I was watching my overnight nurse… This was like my fourth night in…no bath, no toothbrush, every inch I moved meant three devices hooked into me had to move first…just miserable as hell.
    This nurse had a floor to care for… but she went way out of her way to get me comfortable as possible and feel as welcome as possible.
    I looked like hell, smelled worse, and yet…she made sure my iPhone was all charged for me and she and the CNA took the time to clean me up as best they could…because it was what they were there to do.

    To make a long story short…they gave me life and light. Those “ministers” who do any less than she did in the context they “minister” in…may find themselves splitting hell wide open.

  14. Ixtlan says:

    “What’s missing is that they don’t have anyone telling them that God called them and appointed them and thus they are really important and above the rules and boy, we need a break or conference soon…”

    i’ve known many nurses over the years, a few were equally as arrogant as some pastors, but for the most part, I would agree with the above statement.

    Nurses are tough people. I will never forget the nurse that acted like my big sister when I was in an in-patient treatment for a month. She took 3 1/2 weeks to slowly talk me off the edge… My wife’s life has been saved more than once because a nurse was paying attention, and she has been cared for many times when she was so ill.

  15. Michael says:

    Ixtlan,

    There are going to be some divas in every profession, for sure.
    I was just impressed with all the stuff they did that wasn’t required of them…stuff that made a huge difference.

  16. Reuben says:

    Can I be an HVACR diva?

  17. Chile says:

    Yes, Michael, it’s often the little stuff that makes such a difference. I’m so glad you had nurses who cared and made little efforts that meant so much to you, like recharging your iphone! What did that take … all of 10 seconds?

    I, personally, know that to have your face wiped clean -because sleeping for 23 hours a day makes one dirty- is a beautiful 2 minute effort. But as I became aware of what was going on, I BEGGED for a few minutes of someone (besides my wonderful faithful better half!) to visit me. I wanted to hear someone pray for me, reassure me that my family was okay, reassure me that while I felt beat up and disconnected that God still had me in His hands. But even if someone didn’t know to say those things, I know that simply having someone show up for 10 minutes would have been enough … though no one did.

    The assistant pastor and his wife across the street refused to visit me even after I begged them 3 times over a 6 month period of time. When I was finally on the road to recovery later that year, I told the assistant pastor and his wife that they owed me an apology. He said he was sorry … BUT … that he just had way too much to do and couldn’t help it. His non-apology apology did not do much for me.

    The assistant pastor’s wife said she was sorry … BUT … that she was just too busy, that she was burdened by too many people wanting her attention. A few years later I saw her for the first time since that day (remember they lived across the street) and I said something that referenced that time which caused her to blow up YELLING at me saying, “I said I was sorry, what more do you want from me!” That is not what a person who was actually sorry would say … not to mention they never once made it right and visited me … ever.

    That experience served to teach me/us that showing up is 99% of life; that when Jesus told us to love our neighbors He meant it. I learned that it takes very little to make a person feel very loved. And we were reminded of how real ministry that has the most impact often looks very mundane and small, yet it yields the the best fruit!

    The assistant pastor and his wife can have all their “big” ministry and accolades that go along with that, but we are choosing to show up and do the “little” things. May all your ipads and iphones be charged in your hospital rooms!

  18. Chile says:

    Michael, you have stood in the gap for many for a very long time. God bless you!

    May your rest be very rejuvenating!

  19. Chile: “The assistant pastor and his wife across the street refused to visit me even after I begged them 3 times over a 6 month period of time.”

    Wow…just wow. 🙁

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