Health Matters: Where Church and Life Intersect
Churches are full of life! The life of the pastor, the staff, the volunteer, the family, the children and youth, the young adult and the senior. Where else do you find such diversity of community? After working in the church for over ten years as a Parish Nurse, it was quite obvious to see that the one common denominator that ALL have in common is Health. Good health, poor health, disabled health, mental health. For the majority of us, health plays a major role in forming our outlook on life. If we are healthy – life has no limits, if we are in poor health – limits are an ever present fact of life and another hurtle to jump. At some point we have all experienced poor health and it is that fact that brings common ground into our faith communities.
I would venture to say that communities that are healthy are those where acceptance, validation and true sacrificial caring are practiced. Where all are made to feel heard and loved no matter the status of their health. I have met with many seniors, one on one, to sit and just listen to their heartaches, their story, their concerns. I held their hand as they cried tears of sorrow and loss, I listened as they spoke of not feeling needed anymore, I lifted them in prayer and reiterated their concerns to God with them. Upon leaving, it never failed, I would see a smile radiate their face and a contentment wash over them that indeed they were valued – for I had listened!
Does it not equate then that to be healthy is to be at peace in body, mind and spirit no matter our physical or mental limitations? To help one another achieve this peace is one of the reasons God wants us to be in community. We need each other! Let’s find ways to be Healthy!