Thursday, May 7, 2015

Ministering....

 
A passage from Little Women...by Louisa May Alcott.
 
"Not far away from here lies a poor woman with a little newborn baby. Six children are huddled into one bed to keep from freezing, for they have no fire. There is nothing to eat over there, and the oldest boy came to tell me they were suffering hunger and cold. My girls, will you give them your breakfast as a Christmas present?" Mrs March to her daughters....

The March family seems poor, but when they're contrasted with the Hummels, who don't even have wood for a fire in the middle of winter, we realize that they're actually pretty well off. The existence of poor families like the Hummels gives the Marches a way to practice charity at home, sacrificing some of their comfort to preserve the lives of the unhappy children who live nearby.
 
Source: Schmoop

We've come to think of wealth as 'possessions'. What happened to having a generous heart?


We've come to think of the term 'ministering' to mean something religious.
 
And certainly in the right context, it means that.
 
"To minister....to perform the functions of a religious minister."
 
It can also mean "to give service, care or aid".
 
Or "to contribute as to comfort or happiness".
 
Source: dictionary.com
 
I've mentioned before that our youngest son has Cerebral Palsy and is completely physically dependent. He has a great life that exceeds the expectations the world had for him when he was a child. He lives in his own home, with a team of support staff around the clock, and does what other 24 year old fellas do. Watch sport, have friends over, play with the dog, go out to restaurants and so on. He's my hero.
 
He came to see his younger sister in the school musical last night. He had a ball, met new people and amazed me, as he always does these days, with his immense capacity to engage others in conversation, and take an interest in them, despite his own limitations.
 
He even let me hold his hand for a bit, which I like to do, and which he doesn't always allow, even if he enjoys it too.
 
Which brings me to the ministering.
 
Who do you minister to in the course of your day? In this context, I'm referring to 'contribute as to comfort or happiness".
 
We do this automatically for our loved ones, but there are many in society who lack comfort and happiness.
 
I know I've been called upon just in the last week, to minister to a sibling who is having a troubled time, to a friend of my daughter who has some struggles with depression and anxiety, and to the vet who visited my sons dog, who also has a disabled child, and whom I listened to at length, prompting her to observe as she left... 'what an extraordinary conversation for me to have with a perfect stranger!'.
 
I am, at certain moments, anxious about who will minister to my disabled son when I am no longer here. Will his sister hold his hand, curled by the Cerebral Palsy and give him comfort and happiness? I hope so. But she too, will have a family and work commitments. Will his Aunts and cousins and sisters-in-law minister to him? Again, I hope so, but there are no guarantees in life. 
 
My greatest fear, is that in the busy whirlwind of life, my son will miss the gentle touch of someone who loves him. Someone who is not there because they're paid to be. Someone who holds his hand and looks into his eyes when he speaks, and is genuinely interested in him.
 
I can only hope that in my lifetime, I have done enough, ministered enough, and provided sufficient comfort and happiness to others, that it will be returned in kind for my son.
 
We can all be 'ministers'. We can all contribute comfort and happiness to someone outside of our immediate family circle in the course of our day or week.
 
To whom will you minister this week?
 
 
 photo signature_zps33fd9dfd.png

8 comments:

  1. Mimi,

    We sow seeds in others' loved ones and we reap what we've sown when others sow seeds in our loved ones. I am a living witness.

    Hugs and happy highways. A lovely post. I mark up all of my Alcott books... They're fabulous.
    Kelley~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thankyou Kelley, my lovely. That gives me hope. I never tire of reading Little Women. My daughter and I just watched it on TV a few weeks ago, and we both cried. Sigh. Mimi xxx

      Delete
  2. I think too that when we give it comes back and not necessarily from that person but often from somewhere totally unexpected. Somehow there is a cycle anyhow and I am sure it will come back to your son as he might need it in the future.
    I think ministering to someone is anything that they are in need of... company, encouragement, practical help, prayer, problem solving. nourishment... anything that they might need in body or soul or both.
    You know I often talk about Laine. Now when I had young children that woman ministered to me endlessly and I never met her or spoke to her personally. That is where I figured out that a blog can be a form of ministry as can a book or a poem...
    So I am pretty sure you minister to a lot of people you dont even know. We both know that many many more people read a blog or your posts than ever comment so we dont know how many people actually feel ministered too... but it would be a lot.
    The world needs much more kindness and acts of charity or help. And time spent with the lonely and all of these things. We have become a bit of a world self obsessed and I am confident that celebrity status doenst last in heaven but acts of ministry, kindness, compassion and love do. Lovely post Mimi. xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I believe that as well Annabel. There is a cycle that we are not even aware of, but perhaps it comes back to simply being giving. As you would know there are many references to this in the scriptures and though my knowledge of the scriptures is a little rusty, I do know that one of my favourites is Proverbs 11:24 "One person gives freely yet gains even more, another withholds unduly yet comes to poverty", and Proverbs 11:25 "A generous person will prosper. Whoever refreshes others will be refreshed". It does seem to pass that generosity attracts generosity. Some call it Karma. Being generous doesn't have to mean gifting material things either. As you pointed out, a blog entry, a poem or sweet card to someone in need, or just a hug for someone who is bereft of affection in their day, can be life changing. I love what you say that the world needs more kindness. So much angst could be averted if people simply asked themselves 'is this kind'? Thankyou for your lovely comment. Mimi xxx

      Delete
  3. I just love Louisa May Alcott too! Beautiful reminder that ministering is a gift afforded to us all, not just a special few, and that we can minister in ways that may never bring the "limelight" or lights above our name, but we can minister in small ways all day long. Beautiful post and I'm glad I've found your blog :) I thought of the verse - cast your bread upon the waters, and thou shalt find it after many days. Ecc. 11:1. Be comforted, and know that the Lord sees and loves your son as much as you do, and He will provide!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello SpicingUpIdaho. Next time you visit, please leave your name...I'd love to address you more personally :) Your observation that ministering does not require recognition is very apt as well. I think it's a sign of the times that many charities now lean towards 'events' where those who donate to participate, are thrust into the limelight for a moment for achievement, for taking part in a walk or marathon. Nobody wants to give for the sake of giving and the good feeling it brings. Thankyou for your insights on this. I really love what you said about being comforted too. Mimi xxx

      Delete
  4. Beautiful post Mimi, it brought tears to my eyes.

    We need to see more compassion in our world today, one act of kindness can change the world.

    xTania

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh sweet Mimi, what a beautiful and touching post! I agree with Kelley...we do sow seeds in the lives of others. Seeds of love and kindness.

    May the Lord richly bless you, dear friend. Thanks for sharing with Roses of Inspiration. Hugs!

    ReplyDelete

I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx