Sunday, July 26, 2009

Visiting the sick

Would you like to be an Angel? Would you like to see an Angel?

The beginning of Hebrews ch 13 says: Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.

Since this is letter written to Jews we must look to Jewish history to find the meaning. It may refer to Abraham who entertained three strangers before the destruction of Sodom. It may refer to the story of Gideon or perhaps to the parents of Samson who both met the Angel of the Lord before his birth. Whatever the reference, and probably it refers to all three since it does say 'some' (plural) have entertained angels unawares, it is an exhortation to show hospitality. But let us turn it the other way around. In Matthew 25, in the parable of the sheep and the goats, the righteous one ask Jesus, when did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you? Jesus' reply was whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.

As one who is sick, I thank the Lord for the 'angels' who have visited me. What has been remarkable has been the unerring timing of it all. Whenever we have a particular downtime or worry, there is the ring of the bell and in comes someone with a word of comfort or encouragement, a time of refreshing prayer or just a squeeze of the hand. The Lord has his timing right.

If you are thinking of visiting the sick, it is often wise to phone first because too many visitors can be wearing, don't make your visit too long and don't expect a sumptuous feast when you get there. But anyone visiting me will receive a warm welcome. I have even had a visitor from America who drove a couple of hundred miles on the day to see me.

So anyone out there who would like to visit, please do. But do phone first. My wife tells me that when I am at my lowest a visit from an 'angel' buoys me up and lifts my spirits.


Anonymous said...

Dr. have helped me by sharing your thoughts on cll...yet in many ways it is your thoughts on God and prayer that cause me to I prayed for you I confused myself as I do when I pray for others or myself...I struggle with faith yet recognize there is a guiding I pray for you tonite I prayed God,s will be done...yet I do not know if that is the prayer to pray as I want you to get my thoughts and prayers...bob

Anonymous said...

I've never met you, but we have corresponded in a way, by me posting and you answering my often unanswerable questions.

You have given CLL patients so much knowledge and understanding. Some of us try to keep up with the state of the art, but have so many gaps in our knowledge. It's been 30+ years since my cellular biology classes and my microbiology labs.

As you know, in biology these days that's ancient history.

You do have the love and support of many, and we will continue to think of you and to pray for you.

Scott S.