Accepting the Call For Ministry
Four years ago on Good Friday I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. One of the things that I remember the doctor saying to me was promising that if I didn’t tell people I had MS they would probably not know. At the time, that was extremely comforting. However, over time I have learned that my diagnosis is as much a part of my ministry as being female, Iowan, a mother, an animal lover, chocolate/coffee addict, and wife. It is part of who I am.
As Christians we are called to do ministry. Most of us gleefully accept this call. As Christians we are equally called to empower others to do ministry. This is harder for many of us to accept. Myself included. As Americans and Missourians we are fiercely independent and determined to care for ourselves. But just as we are called to care for others, we are called to allow others to care for us.
One of the ways my MS presents itself is fatigue. After standing or walking I become tired and my legs become weak. After preaching and standing at the altar for the Eucharistic Prayer I’m usually pretty worn out and standing to give communion to 100+ people is simply too much. My parish offered a solution. Two of the men in our church are woodworkers and they offered to design and build a chair for me to sit on while passing out communion. The time they spent designing and building the chair cemented their relationship and allowed them to share their passion with God and God’s Church. My weakness became their strength.
The Christian life can be hard. Life as humans in this world can be hard. Rather than hiding your hardships from others share them. We are a community. Alone we are broken and weak. Together we are Christ.