“Will you come back and pray with us?”
What is it about a minister’s presence that brings comfort? In the moments between praying with a family I had never met and waiting alone in the hospital lobby for surgery prep to take place, I pondered what an odd situation it truly is. Because of a title (one I have no credentials to claim), I am invited into familys’ private space.
Why are my prayers sought after? As a student in the final year of seminary classes, I likely have more insight on Bible history than the average church-goer. I may have more understanding on how the church has traditionally operated and interpreted. But I am more than aware that most of the people I serve know a LOT about God. I certainly don’t have a special connection to God. My prayers stumble and stutter just as much — if not more than — anyone else’s. I try to recognize the holy, but most of the people who want me around for prayer have already figured out that God is there.
I must admit I feel like a fraud. Today a family friend — who happens to be a nurse at the hospital I was visited — walked by the pre-surgery room I was in and asked “what is she (the woman being prepped for surgery) to you?” I was answering that I was a ministry intern at the same moment the daughter responded “she’s a minister at our church.” Me? A minister?
It’s humbling and honoring to get to share in these moments — to get to hear people’s stories. The truth is, I don’t offer anything to these situations that isn’t already there. But I’m thankful for the opportunity to be present with other people.