Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ministry Moments

by Scott Dalen

You never know when an experience that happens in ministry is going to come back and smack you right between the eyes.

This evening, as I've been sitting at the table working on homework, my wife was watching a tv documentary called "The Man That Lost His Face." It's about a man from Portugal that had an extremely rare tumor that, over the course of this lifetime, engulfed most of his face in an extreme growth. The documentary followed him as he underwent surgeries that removed the tumor and began to reconstruct his face. One particular moment caught my attention.

Following the first surgery, the man was recovering and it was going well. After about two weeks, his surgeon walked into the room. He recognized the doctor and reached out to shake his hand.

Enter in my own personal experience last fall. In going to a routine home visit, I found a congregation member post heart attack. He was alive, but clearly in trouble. I phoned in the emergency, and then spent the rest of the day at the hospital with his daughter. Now in the end, the man died, but he lasted for a couple weeks before God called him home. It allowed time for him to connect with his children which meant a lot to them.

I got the call when he started going downhill, and went to the nursing home to visit with him and his family. When I arrived, I was told that he was in and out of conciousness, mostly out. However, when I walked in, his son whispered in his ear "this is Scott that found you." He woke up, reached up and shook my hand as he looked me square in the eye.

That was it. As soon as he did this, he lost conciousness again, and that was the last I saw him.

Watching this particular image on the documentary brought that whole situation back to me and I broke down.

Sometimes we experience some situations that are truly amazing. They are amazing in ways that don't necessarily mean wonderful, but yet they are amazing none the less. I feel incredibly blessed to be invited into these moments, and yet incredibly humbled at the same time.


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