Stay on Message: Let me listen. Let me help.

The difficult thing in medicine is to stay on message. The waiting room is full, I am late for rounds, my vacation is overdue as one of the doctors is out sick. My staff feels overwhelmed and the insurance is delaying payments because of coding errors.

None of this matters to the woman sitting in front of me holding her wheezing 4 year old granddaughter. She missed work today because the child’s mother is passed out on heroin, her father is in jail and no one else can provide care. It is a difficult situation because she doesn’t have the insurance information nor the consent to care.

I have complaints. She has problems. I must stay on message. The political, social, religious messages are not going to help. She needs to know that she is important. She is not alone. God loves her. He cares. I can show this by staying on message.

How can I help you today? We may not solve your problems, but we can help you find peace. Stay on message. It’s about Jesus. It always is about Jesus.

Now, let me hold the child and listen to her lungs. Oh yes. I hear the wheezes. Let me check with the pharmacy. Let me help.

Cast thy burden upon the Lord , and he shall sustain thee:
Psalms 55:22 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/psa.55.22.KJV

Don’t Pray

Don’t pray for me
I don’t want your prayer
It is just an excuse
To pretend that you care

When I am hungry and cold
When I am sick filled with grief
Your prayer does not comfort
Offers no real relief

When I am hunted and chased
By death armies and mobs
Living naked in tents
Your pretend tears and sobs

Are a sham and a noise
Just a self-serving ruse
To invoke God in prayer
Is a form of abuse

Don’t pray for me
Your hypocrisy shows
Do something that matters
God sees, and He knows

James 2:14 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

Outward and Inward: Piece after Peace

A dull ache in a bone I never knew existed. A dimple now replaced by a wrinkle. A wheeze when there used to be a yawn. These subtle reminders that a small piece of me is failing every day. Each failing reminds me of the need for an inner peace.

Every day a small outer piece fails and every day a small inner peace grows. Slow and steady decline in muscle tone and stamina that is at first imperceptible is matched by a growing strength in character and determination. My appetites changes because I can no longer imbibe, ingest or digest what I once could. I enjoy the tastes, but now a small sample will suffice.

Now I need a second look, another reminder and sometimes a backward step. Now I realize that to take a second look is to exercise caution not fear. To remind myself it is important that I don’t repeat the failings and to take a backward step keeps me from tumbling off the cliffs.

Indeed, I have become older. Wiser is the objective.

This outer failing is slowly manifesting itself in ways that remind me of my mortality.

I will face the same end as all flesh as the preacher states in Ecclesiastes chapter 9. No matter how much I accumulate in this life, whatever my accomplishments may be, no matter how well I am known, like, disliked, envied or admired, the outer me is perishing day by day. I lose a piece of me every day outwardly. The objective is to grow a peace within me inwardly every day.

That is what the Apostle Paul meant when he penned 2 Corinthians 4:16 “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.”

The Holy Ghost is there to help us grow in this inner peace that only comes from knowing Christ more fully every day. As you perish outwardly, grow inwardly. As each outward piece fails, inward peace should prevail.

Those

It only makes a difference
I would suppose
When we are they
And us are those

When they are killed
Way over there
No blood on me
Why should I care

We are safe and protected
Away from the mob
We are clean and untouched
While they rape, steal and rob

But if we are they
If one of us offends
We disclaim our own
Well, he never fit in

He’s not one of us
He is one of those
Don’t let him return
Keep that door closed

If our liberty is suppressed
If our rights are offended
Our outrage would rise
We would rise to defend it

But when they cry out foul
With loud moans and great tears
We shout out be quiet
As we cover our ears

Listen you over there
As everyone knows
You are not one of us
You are just one of those

Default to Self

When there are choices to be made
Like two things on a shelf
Between comfort and correctness
I choose default to self

When I am sure no one is watching
Just me and no one else
I don’t have to consider feelings
I prefer default to self

I want the things that I want
I’m no moral giant, but an elf
Greed and ego overwhelm me
I always default to self

Philippians 2:4-8
Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,

Just Nod

The Holy Spirit gave me this word
I am sure it came from God
Never write when you can speak
Never speak when you can nod

If you must put pen to paper
Once the ink has left its stain
Consider the heart of who is reading
It is hard to erase the pain

If you must speak do so softly
Draws attention to each word
Makes everyone listen very closely
They are clear about what they heard

Be aware that your opinions
Don’t have the gravity of God
Hold your tongue put the pen down
Never speak when you can nod

More for Me: Settling for Selfish

I wish I had kept more for me. I wish I had spent more on pleasure and less on people who lacked basic needs of food, safe housing and healthcare. I regret giving so much to people who were undeserving and undesirable. I regret wasting my time and money on unrepentant and unworthy. I should have spent more on me. I wasted my money on helping the underserved.

These are words I am sure I will never speak. In fact it is quite the opposite.

David Platt writes “We are settling for a Christianity that revolves around catering to ourselves when the central message of Christianity is about abandoning ourselves.”

How did my personal pleasure become the focus of my faith?
Jesus loves me
This I know.
See my bank account
It will show

We wear the cross of Christ as jewelry. It is an ornament of fashion, not evidence of faith.

We settle for fashion, rather than submit to faith. Settling for selfishness and wanting more for me is my objective. That is modern day Christianity.

“If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me.
Matthew 10:38‭-‬39 MSG

HOLY AND PURE

There is one thing
Of which I am certain
There is one thing
Of which I am sure
I know I am called
To be holy
I know I am called
To be pure

Yes politeness and courtesy
Not withstanding
Good manners do
Have an allure
But God demands
I be holy
My God demands
I be pure

The world would
Have me believe
That there is no
Sin, so no need for cure
Please and thank you
Have a nice day
Social graces
God demands I am pure

Being nice does
Have it’s merits
Giving offerings
To help the
Infirmed and the poor
But God is not looking
For good people
He demands I am holy and pure

“Make yourselves holy for I am holy. Be holy because I am holy.
Leviticus 11:44‭-‬45 MSG

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
Hebrews 12:14 KJV

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Matthew 5:8 KJV

Dying on Schedule or Living With Hope

CS is 35 years old. She is on her second round of anti-depressants and it is not helping. She is caring for an autistic 4-year-old and a confused asthmatic teenage girl. She works two-part time jobs with a take home pay of just under $500 per week. This is just enough to pay her rent, utilities and food, and pay the interest on her student loans. She could not afford to buy a winter coat and has no new clothes for her growing children. CS has no dental care and depends solely on the state for medical care. Last year when she fell sick with pneumonia, she missed work and lost money from the week of not working. A winter coat would have helped.

She is not considering euthanasia, helping someone die on schedule, abortion or transgender surgery as issues that are within her scope. She needs help. She needs to know that she is not judged by the income level which defines her as a class, or subtype of citizen. CS needs health care professionals to address the issues which matter to her. Adequate food and clothing, safe housing, emotional and spiritual support are issues we must advocate for the people we are called to serve.

According to the state’s website, almost 10% of Delaware citizens do not have medical insurance. This number does not reflect the other parameters which affect their health such as those faced by CS or her family and friends. CS lives in a community that is unsafe because of the behavior and choices of her neighbors. We can advocate against helping people die on schedule, define positions on abortion and transgender, but none of it matters if we don’t help people live with hope.

Next Shiny Thing

I want to confess You are Lord
I want to confess you as King
But just when I am ready to speak
I discuss the next shiny thing

You are worthy of all honor and glory
More worthy than any gift I can bring
Your majesty and splendor obscured
As I admire the next shiny thing

I want to adore You and worship
With words that I speak and I sing
But just as I open my mouth
I speak only of the next shiny thing

Creator God, Sweet Savior, Sustainer
Holy Ghost sending angels on wing
Please protect me from even myself
So I don’t chase the next shiny thing

1 Corinthians 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

1 Timothy 6:18 “That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;”

Proverbs 23:4
Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.

Matthew 13:22

He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.