Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Contrasts of Grace

I had one of those rare and remarkable days in ministry yesterday when the contrast of circumstances bring home the gift of this vocation. In the morning I went to see the 101-year-old member who was at death's door on Sunday. Against the odds she had rallied, and when I walked into her room she was sitting up, eyes open. We chatted and while she was confused she was very much alive. Her son, who is in his seventies, was grateful for my visit.

In the afternoon I went to the Oshawa hospital to visit a first-time mom and her baby. This was a difficult pregnancy which required the mother to spend the last few months at home. The result was a happy one, with the pregnancy going almost full-term and the birth of a healthy six-pound baby girl. When I arrived this infant was all of eight hours old. I went to the nursery where the tiny child is in an incubator as a precaution (not the baby in the photo.) The proud and somewhat anxious father hovered over his first child, listening to the nurse who also happens to be part of our congregation. For me this was a special moment of connection with a young couple.

This contrast of ages was striking, yet in both instances we spoke of God, and God's presence. These two visits were only part of a hectic and unpredictable day, but they were a gift of grace.


Laura said...

Your day reminds me of the well used phrase "circle of life". Although some might say it cliche, I find the notion quite comforting; an acceptance of beginnings and endings, a natural order, when life unfolds as it "should" with healthy babies and long,full lives. A favourite hymn of mine also speaks to God's presence found in beginnings and endings, and all in between...VOICES UNITED 644 "I was there to hear your borning cry, I'll be there when you are old"....(fast forward) "When the evening gently closes in, and you shut your weary eyes, I'll be there as I have always been, with just one more surprise."

pupil said...

Laura- I haven't heard that hymn. I will have to look it up next Sunday.

lionlamb said...

Thanks for the reminder of a wonderful hymn Laura. It is fitting for what I wrote about here and everyone would do well to look at the words.