Monday, August 03, 2009

One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism

Do you recall this photo? I posted it this past Spring after stopping along Middle Rd. and snapping a few shots of the daffodils, grape hyacinths, and other flowers. The elderly owner of the house was working in the garden that day, a man so slight that he didn't seem much bigger than the hoe he was using to scratch away at the weeds.

I admired the flowers, we chatted, and it turned out that he is the father of one of our St. Paul's staff members. We hadn't met before because he was a member of one of the reformed congregations in town. He kindly cut a big bouquet of daffodils for my wife, Ruth. Later he told his son and daughter-in-law that he had enjoyed the conversation and wondered if I might come to see him again. He has a terminal illness but he really just wanted to visit, so I went to see he and his wife.

On Friday I got an urgent call from the family saying that he had been taken to hospital. His pastor is out of town but I was available to go, read some psalms, say a prayer. Sometimes sequences of events seem more providential than coincidental.

Yesterday after church I went back to see how he is doing and our sense was that the end was near. As it happens, the epistle reading for the day was from Ephesians where it says "there is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism..." There are times when we are more keenly aware that denominational lines don't mean much and we are simply invited to support one another in Christ's love.
Last evening I got a call that this old soul had gone to his reward.


Stacey said...

David.. quite often I am jealous of you and the opportunities you are presented with to form such strong and meaningful connections with people on every given day. There are some who may go years without ever having a profound thought, a deep conversation or a real bond with another person. I think you are truly blessed and the perfect man for the job, whether you wear a collar or not. I know you would be this same man, even if you had chosen to be a grocer or a shoe-maker. My lesson is to follow your lead, and try to make each day as meaningful. I'm so thankful to have known you.

lionlamb said...

It's wonderful to hear from you Stacey. I hope it has warmed up in Calgary after what I read has been some cool weather.

You are kind, but I should say that being involved with others in Christ's name has been a great privilege in my life. There is much in churchianity that I don't enjoy at all. But I have experienced so many precious encounters which remind me that life is both fleeting and holy.

For so many of my colleagues. pastoral care is deeply meaningful.

I hope your lads are flourishing.