One of the most difficult parts of ministry is to be at the side of a family after the death of a loved one. This time is one of great spiritual grace for me as priest. That might sound a bit self serving but it is true. To be able to minister to people at that time reminds me of Jesus at the tomb with Martha and Mary after their brothers death.
This past Sunday I had the opportunity for this type of ministry. My work as a fire chaplain brings me into contact with people that I might never come in contact with. Sunday there was an accident near my home. The 16 year old driver was killed and his father badly injured. As the hospital tried in vain to find someone to come and be with the family, the fire department paged me. The humorous thing there is that I was in the supermarket when this happened. I arrived at the hospital to find the young man’s brother in a state that I can only describe as inconsolable. His mother was in shock. I prayed for them and then went to the room and prayed for this young man taken so early from this life. No matter how many times I do this type of thing it never gets easier. I spent a few more minutes with them family and slipped quietly away. Pray for Michael and his family as they come to grips with this tragedy in their life. Pray also for the Firefighters and EMT’s as well as all those at the hospital. It never gets easy for them either and they are often over looked in these situations. If you have time left, say a little prayer for me also.
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