Good Monday morning...

… and I am mindful of the overwhelming needs of many loved ones as I look forward into this week.  Our peeps are experiencing huge challenges!  So today I want to focus on the ministry of presence.

With the pandemic, challenges to this “ministry of presence” have grown exponentially.  I hear it from people whose loved ones are in assisted living facilities that have banned “all but essential” visits to loved ones of those recovering from serious surgeries in hospitals where families are prohibited from visiting.  If there was ever a time when the presence of loved ones was needed, it is in these.  I am aware of the issue of safety, and especially the safety of the essential workers, but there should be ways to keep the vulnerable safe without eliminating the presence of loved ones.

This was made abundantly clear to my mom, when Ray had his last surgery that removed about half of his “good foot.”  The hospital stay was long, but the fact that his only contact with his wife was by phone, made the days seem like months… and that is a huge cost to a patient’s recovery, as if being put in solitary confinement.  I know that is not the intention, but it is the consequence of limiting the spread of this horrible coronavirus.

Please, pardon my grievance, but we managed to keep air travel safe and intercept would-be terrorists by adding the TSA to our airports.  The disruption of air travel had to be overcome and it was, with a good outcome.  Our loved ones need our presence.  We must find ways to get loved ones, even if a limited number, into the hospital rooms and the patient facilities to give them a better chance of a full recovery.  Relational presence is a powerful healer!

People have to be screened and I am aware that a wand waved over a body cannot detect the coronavirus, but can’t we screen a family member or friend well enough to contain the virus using PPE and good hand hygiene?  I am a firm believer that relational presence is a powerful healer!  It feels like we have benched one of the finest athletes on the team by prohibiting loved ones from visiting… and our peeps are losing!  Help me think this through…

For His glory,

Pastor Mike