It is extremely rare for a minister to find a place where we can be ministered to.
You have to be a minister to all people, even on the days you don’t want to. (Yes, we have those days.) It comes with the title. I love what I do and most days I remember that I am doing it for God. There is a peace and grace that we are able to give from holding the
hand of the grieving soul, the lost child, the hurting heart, and the weak. We are the face and touch of God for those searching for a comforting brush of grace. Sometimes though, we need to be ministered to as well. However we have the dilemma that we can’t show that weakness in front of those who are depending on us to be perfect every moment of the day. Whether congregations want to admit to that or not, it is a part of their human nature. In good or bad, we are there for them at any minute of the day. We need to be strong so that they are able to find hope in the one who is holding their hand. When they are broken, they need someone to walk beside them who isn’t.
But what about us? How are we ministered to when we are grieving, hurt, lost, broken, and in need of a healing touch?
Ministering to Ministers is a wonderful ministry that provides such a place to go. Based in Richmond, Virginia, MTM was built on the foundation that ministers need someone to minister to them in those uncertain times when we are broken. Yes, ministers can be broken. That’s human nature too, for we are humans and we are broken. MTM provides that very place in which we can lay our heads and have the love of Jesus Christ and the grace of God, touch us ever so gently on our hurting souls.
I was blessed this week to have that opportunity. MTM provided me with the comfort and grace of God’s loving arms, that embraced me in a way I haven’t felt in a long time. I felt community. I felt peace. I felt comfort. I felt acceptance. In the midst of this wilderness journey, this storm of wind and rain, I found Jesus Christ – peeking through the barrier of clouds, providing for me a glimpse of light in the Beacon of His heart. I found Jesus Christ, standing beside me, wiping away my tears and laying his hand upon my weary head, slowly caressing the burdens of my head and heart – waiting to carry them away, when I hand them over to the One who can make it so.
Hmmm – I just wrote that, “I found Jesus Christ.” That sounds like I lost Him and some of you will think I am not a “good” minister for admitting that weakness. Well, I haven’t lost Jesus. He’s been here the entire time, waiting patiently for me to raise my hand to Him and say, “I can’t do this alone.” During this time of retreat, I found out that I wasn’t alone. People were there, ready to hold my hand and say, “It’s going to be ok.”
For those who aren’t ministers, you can find that comfort in your own higher being. I don’t know who you worship, but I imagine that whoever you call “God” will provide you with voices and hands of those surrounding you now: friends, family, colleagues; teachers, mentors, and even children. Your higher power will give you the grace and love that you need to make it through the steps of your wilderness.
I am on a plane now, headed back to Boston. (last Friday night) It’s around 9:00 pm, depending on which time zone I’m in. I am tired and drained from the intense week of work, rest, and retreat. As I look out my window and see the clouds before me, I am reminded that i have a cloud of witnesses and angels who are beside me, walking with me, every step of the way. I wish they could hold my hand, but that’s ok. I know they are holding me in their hearts and that makes all the difference to a girl just looking for hope.
I thank MTM for that opportunity and I thank God for the Ministering to Ministers Foundation, for making it so. Amen.