Serious illness requires a serious response. When Judy’s stepsister was dying of complications of diabetes, Judy visited her often. Her stepsister was unconnected to a church, and as Judy visited, she began to feel strongly that she should bring her own pastor to meet with her sister. “I didn’t want to push it on her, but I also felt an urgency,” Judy says. “A few visits later I just showed up at the hospital with Pastor Dan. They connected immediately, and he began to go visit her without me.” Judy says that through those visits, her stepsister found a renewed, strong faith in Christ. Judy’s pastor helped prepare her stepsister for death. “Before she died, she asked him to do the funeral. Through this experience, I learned to listen to what the Holy Spirit lays on my heart and act on it. I learned not to let fear of rejection or ridicule dictate my actions.”
Virtual visits are important, too. When Jonathan’s teenage son was struggling with alcohol, he and his wife made the difficult decision to enroll him in an in-patient rehabilitation program. To protect his son’s privacy, Jonathan and his wife chose not to tell their closest friends from their school and church. Instead, Jonathan sent an e-mail to his college buddy, who lived in another state. While the friend couldn’t come visit, he and Jonathan began e-mailing almost daily about the situation. Every so often, Jonathan’s friend would call a pizza place in his neighborhood and have pizza delivered to the family. “I told my two other sons, who were still at home while their brother was in rehab, that I hoped they would have friends like this guy someday,” says Jonathan. “He was a gift from God in the midst of a terrible time.”
By Annemarie Scobey, from the pages of At Home with Our Faith, Claretian Publications’ print newsletter for parents on nurturing spirituality in the home. Winner of the Best in Class award in 2014 from the Associated Church Press, as well as a First Place General Excellence award from the Catholic Press Association for four years running. Here’s a sample issue.
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