Yesterday, at the end of worship services, I made the official announcement to my congregation that I have cancer. After sharing the details I asked the Deacons to anoint me with oil and pray for healing according to the Scriptures ("Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up."James 5:13-15)
We placed two chairs for Karen and I at the front and the Deacons did a wonderful thing. "Because the Body is One," Sherman said, "We should all come and pray for our pastor." the entire church body surrounded us and prayed for my bride and I. We were overwhelmed. People whom I'd never heard pray before lifted heart-felt prayers for us both.
Over the years I have not been impressed with my pastoral skills. I can preach, but I hate administrative chores. I am not a Sanguine, glad-handing, people-person. I am a timid, cold-call witness. I've often wondered if I would be missed. Yesterday, my church family humbled me to my core.
Afterward, I regretted the fact that we had no photograph of the event. But that is often how life is. When you are in the midst of the wonderful, who thinks to stop it all for something as mundane as a photo opportunity?
"Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free —and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many... If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it."
1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 26