by Fletcher Lowe
Prayer is part of my Jewish doctor’s approach to her surgery, as she sees her faith as integral to her relationship with her patients and her profession. She shared that thought with me both before and after my recent operation.
During my post-surgical hospitalization, I was aware of the multitudinous ways that others were ministering to me: the team of doctors who at 6:45 every morning shared where I was and what the day’s plans were; the night nurse who made sure I was getting enough rest and sleep; the nurse’s aide who recently retired from the banking industry to be more closely engaged with people who needed a caring hand and a reassuring word; the personable housekeeper making sure my room was clean and neat; and how many others. Unlike what I know of my surgeon, I have no knowledge of the faith perspective of any of these folks. What I do know is that they were Jesus incognito to me, bringing his healing gifts to me.
There have been other Jesuses amidst all of this: the great cloud of witnesses who through cards and emails and phone calls and food have been ever so supportive. There, too, has been my church community – lay and clergy alike – who have nurtured and encouraged me. And most important has been the steadying presence of my wife.
When I translate this to my larger life – and I suggest you do the same – I/we need to be aware of those who bring Jesus incognito into our lives with their gifts. God looks beyond the ranks of those who call themselves Christians when choosing who will be God’s ministers. Thanks be to God for the multitudinous ways God’s hand is felt in our personal and public worlds.