Sunday, October 26, 2008

Contributed or Committed

As I have listened the past few days about the passion some people have in certain areas of their ministry, I am reminded today about one of mine. Last Thursday I posted a blog entitled, "Stereotypical--Not To God". It really speaks to one of my heart strings. Everybody knows a Dorothy and/or Don, children that are tossed to the side of the road like a used fast food sack or empty paper cup. The pharmaceutical industry worldwide is a thriving business, new drugs are formulated all the time to mask the symptoms of what cannot be healed with a pill.

In the 1980s I worked for a pediatric psych hospital and was shocked at the time to see so many young kids six and seven years old in lock-down. I will never forget a couple of the kids. One is a young boy in kindergarten. What a cutie he was. One of those little boys that should have had a smile and jumping around with some excitement. His parents were seemingly nice people. I say seemingly because you never know until they get into therapy or you get a relationship like a neighbor.

Their son, an only child, had been brought into the emergency room. Mom and dad in shock and awe that their son was bleeding and near death. The questions they had for themselves were very hard and direct. What could they possible have done to contribute to this precious child laying on a cold hospital table with monitors and tubes attached to him? They had planned to pour all their finances and influence into his day-to-day growth. Only the best was good enough for their heir. No other children had been planned. Now, this one chosen vessel was about to die.

Only a hour before he had been telling them about his day at school. How he liked his teacher, she was really nice and liked all the kids. There weren't any favorites, but that was okay, her love was more than enough to spread. Then he had started to cry as only a small boy or girl can when they try to explain the taunts and silly statements made by kids who are trying to find themselves at the expense of another.

Little "Don" went quietly into the his room after his parents told him to "buck up" . He took a stack of large books, placed a very sharp, large butcher knife between them and then with all of his force fell on them and wiggled. His scream brought his parents running. The damage had already been done.

I wept when I got the case on my desk, what could possible been so horrible to a six year old boy to want to commit suicide? It hadn't been the taunting of the day alone, but a long buildup of emotions that nobody had noticed. A child who felt useless and alone; not able to meet the demands of those whom he cared about their opinions of him.

In the following months of outpatient therapy, this young family found how they had contributed to their son's feelings of frustration and not able to measure up to a standard he felt unnecessary and harsh. Nobody had taken the time to ask him how he felt about it, or the pace at which he was able to travel the journey others had planned for him. It isn't just enough to keep the baby; we also need to cherish them for a lifetime.

At six years old, he was becoming a living abortion. A child who had breathed the air of this world, went to Sunday School, and was becoming a part of his peer group. But in the growing up had also learned to mask his hurt and frustrations until it exploded.

I could tell you a lot of stories about kids and youth who choose to abort their life. It wasn't in a clinic before their first breath, it was the fact that breathing and life was more than they could handle.

We all have a place somewhere in the life of other people. Be passionate about where God has placed you, and what he pulls at your heart strings. My passion is for those who have been given life, maybe was saved from an abortionists instruments, but was discarded anyway as a human being.

We can make a difference to somebody. My column each Thursday is about that..Differences Encouraged. Each week there is a challenge to make s a difference. Today, I ask you what pulls at your heart when you read the newspaper or hear the news? What are the stories that really get into your private space of "feeling" the situation? Perhaps that's where you can start doing ministry.

The other column and passion of mentoring is Ministry is a lifestyle--not a pulpit. It is what life becomes to you for the good of other people. Today, YOU make a difference to somebody. Make the most of it. They will be so glad you did.

love and hugs,
Bishop Susan

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