“For…I Was Sick, and You Looked After Me.”
Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Matthew 25:36. It is a powerful message in any version of the Bible. Here the King James states it eloquently. The new international version is: I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
This way I hope to reach all readers of any faith or church. It is relevant to me right now in that one member of my Bible group has been diagnosed with cancer and everyone is rallying for support. The church has organized a cleaning schedule with regular meal deliveries for the entire family. It is one’s Christian duty to help in time of need. We have secured volunteers to tidy up the house and do a solid round of vacuuming to give this man’s wife a break. We’re calling it The Vacuum Challenge. She is so busy driving him to doctor’s appointments and tending to his mental state. It must seem like an endless round of chores, and few are pleasant.
Other volunteers are rounding up meals, and eventually we hope to hire a day cook. There will be a need to drive our friend to the hospital for medical treatment, and later surgery. Recovery won’t be fast, so we are trying to plan ahead and envision other tasks we might perform. Perhaps the yard will need weeding and the plants watered. We can rake the leaves and trim the tree branches. We would like to hold a fundraiser such as a bake sale or car wash to provide funds for his care. At some point, we may need to rotate volunteers to take care of his routine grooming. In time, we hope and pray that he will recover and return to his normal life.
When any parishioner becomes ill, it strikes at the heart of the community. While we know that life is full of trials and tribulations, serious problems always upset the balance of nature. We feel strongly for each and every member of our church. We are like a big family with many branches extending their roots for miles around. When there is strife or suffering, we individually are affected. We join in prayer:
Your love is as wide as the oceans
As deep as the sea
And as tall as the heavens.
May your spirit rise like a mighty wave and come and restore he who is ill.
You are the water of life,
You are a fresh spring,
You are healing rain
To all those who are in need.