Once in a while, I am given an experience which seems to whisk me away into the life of God for a moment. Sometimes these experiences are mystical, as the Holy Spirit communicates with me through prayer or scripture or a sense of divine presence. Sometimes these experiences are very human, for God uses people to speak to me. I think of these as consolations, little gifts from God that give me comfort in the midst of life.
I recently had the privilege of helping with the funeral of a dear friend from a former church. Afterwards, an old friend pulled me aside along with the present pastor, saying she felt it was a bit “selfish” but since we were both there she wanted to have some prayer with us. Her daughter, whom I had baptized a dozen years ago after founding a new church, was about to profess her faith and become a member of that church. She led us in a prayer of thanksgiving for “the hands that baptized my daughter and the hands that will confirm her on Sunday.”
That prayer time was far from selfish. It was a gift to me. For a moment, it felt as if I was transported over space and time and all the other things that separate us from one another. Each of God’s children is on a journey home and I got to be a simple and humble instrument in one child’s life. What else matters in ministry?