You want ME to pray for you? It’s becoming more unlikely…

Getting any kind of help from Jesus didn’t seem likely when I was propelled onto a praying exploration by my friend Marcia’s decision to go on pilgrimage.

Neither did I expect preaching at a local church, an unusual experience for me these days, the preaching and the going to church, to be a tipping point.
The gospel I chose from the variety on offer was the story of the Roman centurion, his sick servant girl and Jesus. At a quick glance it connected with my work as a hospital chaplain but I expected it would plague me, I just didn’t know how much.
The servant girl is sick and her Roman master manages to get Jesus the healer to take an interest. Like any healthcare system, there’s a queue so before Jesus can get there the soldier changes his mind and says no worries, just say the word and it will be done. And lo and behold it was.
Without the relentless train tracks of regular preaching, churning out sermons under pressure within a community with expectations, my mind stepped out on its own retrieving an experience I’d had that week.
A patient called out in pain as I’d walked into the room on my daily rounds. I stopped, held her hand and waited with her as doctors came and charted painkillers.
Then her nurse appeared. She took the patients hand, leant down and kissed her. An indescribable and profound love filled the space between them.
I couldn’t tell if the world had stopped turning or if it had begun spinning on a different axis. Whatever it was, in that moment of suspended animation, I witnessed the magnificence of compassion and I understood that we are enough. Continue reading

Sande Ramage is an Anglican priest and blogger.

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