Today I have just kind of crashed. I felt out of sorts yesterday – and just exhausted today. So I have read and watched TV and done little else today. Better to just fully recharge rather than limping along. I will be back at it fully tomorrow.
Meantime, I find that I am getting a whole lot of private email from Catholic Priests, Deacons and Protestant Ministers and Pastors. It is very heartening in many ways – because I am able to see in a very intimate way how very many there are who are deeply trying to live both their faith and their call – and genuinely bring people to the safety and joy that is in Christ.
Many are scared…and lonely. It tugs at my heart what noble courage so many are trying to live, to find what is the next right step for those they minister to, to give comfort and hope to their little flocks even as they see fearful things rising – and of course have to deal directly with the pain and isolation so many of those in their care are dealing with today.
So I ask you to do three things for your shepherds on a regular basis:
1) Pray for them every day. They have stepped out in courage in difficult times. And even if you have one that is not quite aware of how bad things are getting, they will find themselves on the firing line soon enough – and will need courage. Beat the rush and help them with your prayers now.
2) Help uphold them. Many of the decisions they must make are scary. Give them steady counsel – and do NOT just criticize them when you disagree with them on something. Thank them when they confirm something you need. If they know you genuinely care about them, their ministry and the faith, they will invite your counsel when it is critical as a means of proving the faith rather than just avoid you.
3) Do little kindnesses that have nothing to do with overt prayer or worship. Invite them to dinner…to a movie…to an amusement park. Satan tries to isolate those he would destroy – and he really wants to destroy ministers. Respect their calling, but reach out to them as fellow men, as true brothers and sisters in relaxed, homey settings.