So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
~ Isaiah 41:10
"Do not be afraid."
This morning I am sitting in a meeting with several folks who are working with hospice patients. As we share our experiences with one another, there seems to be a number of patients that we are working with that have expressed that they are afraid.
One of the greatest gifts any of us can offer to one another are the words, "Do not be afraid."
Sometimes those that we meet are ready to go to God, but those around the person have a hard time letting them go. But there eventually comes a time that those who are caring for the person need to give those they love the permission to once again return to God. So often we forget that earth is not our home.
The greatest gift that we can offer to one another is our presence and the words to not be afraid. We can be the reminders to those who are dying that they are loved. Sharing the words, "I love you," and "God loves you," can bring comfort. Also inviting folks to "go peacefully and gently," are words that help to describe "a way," that leads not into fear, but into eternity.
Saying these words from our heart can be a true gift to those we are with as they are dying, but additionally, they can be words expressed to those we meet. "Go in peace," and "May the peace of the Lord be with you," are offerings that may be used daily. This can be the greatest daily gift of love that we can give to one another.
As we were finishing our conversation, I reminded our group of the words that Jesus shared on the cross in his final moments, "Into Your hands I commit my spirit." These are the words that we hope that we are able to bring those we care for to share as they let go. It is with these words we prayerfully bring them from our heart to those we care for. It is with these words that those we care for can make the same journey as Jesus did.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.