As I get ready to go to Tyndale for a week of class concerning the legacy of Henri Nouwen (my last course for a Masters in Theological Studies), I am struck by a thought from Nouwen on the nature of ministry. Nouwen writes in The Living Reminder, “The challenge of ministry is to help people in very concrete situations—people with illnesses or in grief, people with physical or mental handicaps … to see and experience their story as part of God’s ongoing redemptive work in the world.
I think about the concrete experiences that have been part of my ministry over the last week. First, there is the trip out to a farm to help a migrant worker explain to his boss his need to return to Mexico briefly to see his gravely ill mother. Next, there was the purchase and delivery of a cell phone battery to another migrant worker so he could contact home. Another trip meant going to the auto repair shop and explaining the problem to a mechanic since the owner of the vehicle did not feel comfortable about his ability to explain the problem in English. There was a stop at another farm to drop off the fliers so a worker would be aware that an article he wanted to take back to Mexico was on sale.
Jesus made himself available in concrete and practical ways changing water to wine, feeding people and spending time with his disciples and building relationships with those in need. Is there someone near you who needs to see or be reminded of God’s love and compassion?