|"I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance." Luke 5:32|
I had been away for awhile as God was doing a work in me, through me and for me. Even in the last couple of weeks I have been sick with what seemed to be, dramatically, my death but was only a mild sinus infection. I thank God for that! I wrote a few times but even those seemed strained and constricted. It was hard to sit down and write, hard to focus, even harder to get the words out. It was almost like a... excuse the crude description... a writer's constipation. But then I noticed that my mind was on what I was going through, so I had to refocus my "focal point" for this labor.
That got me to thinking about how Church is like a hospital. I've said that many times before, wisdom that can only be from Holy Spirit, not fully understanding the words as they left my naive mouth. But as I see myself laying on this invisible stretcher with labor coaches around me encouraging me, telling me to keep going, I get what it is like to be a part of this Hospital we call Church. Let me take you on a tour of it.
There are many facets to a hospital, many different uses for that one building. There is surgery, ICU and NICU for those patients who need special care as well as rooms for inpatient visits. There is a wing for internal medicine and outpatient visits such as regular check ups and there is the emergency room. This room alone can take up a fourth of the hospital! Oh how many times I have been in the emergency room! I often even wonder if sometimes the entire church becomes an ER by the way the sick continue to fill in. But then I remember that even in an ER, when the injury or sickness is severe, there is always a hospital stay for care, observation and recovery time.
I wonder how many times we, the Body, have sent sick people home without instructions for care, or rushed them from the sick bed in which they laid even though they were not fully well. I wonder how many times people have been wounded in our care because of the rushed work that was done, the misdiagnosis that were given, the crowded rooms as they lay unattended because we did not have the time to give everyone the same attention because of our time constraints, our limited "staff"... I am thankful that the place where I worship now is sensitive to Holy Spirit's call for impromptu alter calls, times of healing prayers and words of encouragement. Even when no one stands, because they are too sick or focused on their pain to hear their name being called, we call anyway.
In Jesus' ministry, he was condemned by selfish leaders for this very thing. For talking out of turn, for doing things out of their order, the way they were used to. But he kept going, he kept doing, he kept healing, he kept freeing. And as people who are to follow in His footsteps, shouldn't we do the same. I long to be able to see, and do, things that are out of the ordinary such as stopping someone with not just a word from the Lord but perhaps just a hug. Or seeing someone hurting or angry and smiling at them with a smile of freedom, a contagious illness called joy. I long to see those of us who have been healed in the Hospital and are now working or volunteering in it to be giving the same attention, the same care, the same love that was shown to us "when we were yet sinners".... Be encouraged, use the "faith that was given you" to do what God has called you to do!
Welcome to JEHOVAH HOSPITAL where all lives matter and no one leaves the same...