Beyond the Call: Around the Clock

By Deb Crowley of Eaton Rapids, Michigan, USA

Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.  Philippians 4:9

How easy it would have been to ignore the answering machine or not answer the cell phone when the number rang. After all, this was not a new dilemma. Hours spent counseling, lending support, encouraging, supplying food, transporting, and still the caller needed more!

Reluctantly, the pastor responded to the call. This time it was to provide transportation to a mental-health facility. Not the first time. But when one is depressed, it’s hard to make yourself do anything, let alone apply for unemployment, seek medical assistance, or even drive to the pharmacy to get your medications. The frustrated pastor wondered if it was all for naught—again!

He took the lost soul to the hospital for evaluation. Sitting in the waiting room, the restless pastor began thinking of all the tasks he could be doing during the few hours he sat there. Precious hours and so much needing attention!

Finally, the hospital would provide transportation for the man to another facility for admission. The pastor thought he was free to go. But, no! The patient requested the pastor stay and travel with him.

Angst and frustration filled the pastor while he begrudgingly rehearsed options in his head.

Suddenly, words floated through his mind as if whispered from above, “I will not leave you nor forsake you.” It was a gentle but stern reminder of God’s unconditional generosity, to always be available, to never leave, and to be on call around the clock.

The answer was clear. The pastor, humbled and forgiven, accompanied the patient to his home for the next few weeks. Change the world—be unconditionally generous!

Prayer for Peace:

Generous God, so often we ask for your patience and yet refuse to give it to others. Help us open our hearts, God, and never let them close to the call to share the peace of Christ.

Spiritual Practice for the Week: Embodying God’s Shalom

Find a way to express and embody God’s shalom. Become silent and imagine you can hear the groaning of the Earth’s people, nations, and creatures. Open yourself to God’s vision of shalom. What images, feelings, and words come to you? What act of justice, kindness, healing, or peacemaking is God inviting you to consider this day, this week?

Peace Covenant:

Today, God, I will go beyond what is expected of me and serve another.

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1 Comment

  1. Karen Porter

     /  3 May 2012

    I totally saw myself there with this story. I have a person who is always calling for a ride to the store or doctor or church; to borrow money for things I don’t approve of & to talk (sometimes long conversations) multiple times a day. I was getting upset with them (again) & feeling trapped into helping when I read this story. Thank you for reminding me of how I should be treating my fellow man.


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