Proper Practical Pastoral Care… and a Pimple…
Devotional Blog of the Day:
1 Peter 5:1-3 (MSG) 1 I have a special concern for you church leaders. I know what it’s like to be a leader, in on Christ’s sufferings as well as the coming glory. 2 Here’s my concern: that you care for God’s flock with all the diligence of a shepherd. Not because you have to, but because you want to please God. Not calculating what you can get out of it, but acting spontaneously.[ 3 Not bossily telling others what to do, but tenderly showing them the way.
“It wasn’t that he had a fabulous memory, so that on seeing you he was reminded of the problem of that friend of yours, or your mother’s illness. It wasn’t that at all. Your friend’s problem and your mother’s illness really concerned him: he carried them in his heart, because he had a big heart. “One fine day I got up with a pimple on the tip of my nose. During the morning I met at least eighteen people who told me one after the other, without fail, that I had a pimple on my nose! At some point the Father passed by the place where I was working, but he said nothing, and shortly afterward someone brought me a tube of ointment ‘from the Father, for the pimple.’ “ (1)
I sit here this morning, looking out on a still pond, the colors of fall incredible in the glory they proclaim, the hand of the Creator, who put them here for me. The stillness is a good time to think, to reflect on where I am at in life.
Yesterday on the plane, I read the above passage about Josemaria Escriva, a Roman Catholic priest, whose writings stimulate my desire to serve God. Quoted him a bunch on this blog. The above quote is in a chapter about his pastoral nature, and of the stories – this is a favorite. It is to me eminently pastoral.
Because he doesn’t just identify the problem in the person’s life, he deals with it, and helps clear it up! (pun intended!)
That’s what a pastor, a priest, a minister is called to do, and indeed, lead the rest of the church to do. Not just to highlight sin or the problems in people’s lives…but to do something to clear them up – to apply the grace and care of God to their situation. To care for people that simply, that whether the situation is physical, or mental, or spiritual (and I believe they are all related) that we are called to do something, to help the man on the side of the road, to come alongside those who situations are without peace, to mourn with those who mourn and laugh with those whose life is filled with joy. It even means that if they are caught in sin… we care enough to be there…. To rescue them.
Being a follower of Christ, which is the example we are to set, is to love people, for in them, we love the God who brought them into our lives. That love means we often have to sacrifice our time and ourselves. It means we must be aware of them, more than we are aware of us.
Sounds a bit impossible? There are role models…. Many many of them…
More importantly, there is a God with us… who loves us enough….
Help me Lord, help all of us who serve the people God created… with that which needs to
(1) Urbano, Pilar (2011-05-10). The Man of Villa Tevere (Kindle Locations 3525-3532). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
- The Blessing of Being Served… It Changes Things!! (justifiedandsinner.com)
- Encountering others on Holy Ground. (justifiedandsinner.com)
- For the joy awaiting… take up and endure your cross. (justifiedandsinner.com)