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Being a pastor is a hard job, but I think it can also be the best job. As a pastor, I have had the privilege of being invited into the most sacred, intimate moments of people’s lives. When a baby is born, I get to be there. When a man and woman recite their wedding vows, I get to officiate in front of their closest family members and friends. When someone is dying—a man, woman, or child—I get to be there also. While each intimate event has its special features, the one that speaks to me most about God, humanity, and the meaning of everything, is the one that includes a deathbed.
I am welcomed to the deathbed because of my role—to shepherd, comfort, pray and speak words of life to people in their final days. But these dear ones rarely see that almost always, I am the one who ends up being pastored, comforted, and instructed the most about God, humanity, and the meaning of everything, by them.
Clock - Mother - Evil - Alzheimer - Weekend
As I write this, I am aware of the clock. My own mother, slowly but certainly, is fading away from the evil that is Alzheimer’s. We visited her again last weekend in the south Georgia assisted living home where she will finish her days. This time was different. This time, and for the first time, she didn’t recognize us. She no longer knows my name. I, her son of fifty one years, am as a stranger to her. Strangely familiar, yet a stranger.
As I have watched Mom struggle with cognitive decline for several years now, I am filled with sadness and anger, two emotions that are also familiar to Jesus. Tears about Mom’s situation remind me of the tears Jesus cried over the loss of his friend Lazarus. Anger about her illness reminds...
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