I suffer from chronic pain from several sources internal and muscular/skeletal. Yet, I am hopeful.   Sometimes that hope comes into doubt, as when you feel the impact of an automobile with the rear of the one in which you are travelling. It was our blessing that it occurred in front of our meetinghouse. Our pastor, Alivia Biko, helped me pray back through the new pains as I waas prepared for transport to the hospital. Beside my physical pain, I also was greiving the total loss of my wheelchair and lift which were attached to the back of our Buick. Through the chaos I could overhear our friend, Cheryl M. taking charge gettng information exchanged for my spouse who was dealing with trauma and shock, also.

At the hospital, Alivia was there as quickly as the ambulance. I often wonder how often pastored Friends pass or fail when it comes to being there for the injured, the sick and elderly. Too often it has become another "task" on the pastor's job discription. Among unprogrammed Friends "being there" has often become the perview of the seniors in the meeting congregation.

When people choose to become Friends or in the case of birthright Friends, stay on, there seems to be no sense of duty among younger Friends to look after the seniors, much as the meeting takes a marriage under its care. Often, able bodied seniors do not want intrusion into their living space, but that should not discourage members from seeing those who treasure the presence of youth.  

Much of the Torah is spiced with frequent commands to care for the widows, orphans, the elderly and the sick.  The New Testament amplifies those entreaties.  Are  we hearing them?  

I have had to funnel forty five years of living into 720 square feet and a couple of small outbuildings, and several rent-a-storage spaces.  My living room is a small tool shed with project bags of tools and craft supplies.  I have three stuffed chairs and a folding chair which are often used as sorting bins. Yet, I miss the face to face dialogue I experienced with meeting for worship for venting, as an unprogrammed Friend, and prayer meetings as a programmed one.  Now I cannot go out at night, I do not drive and the spouse has lost night vision.  Visiting me is a challenge.

Who is up to the challenge?  How are people like me in your own communities?  Is it snowing there, too?  Are there any tracks to the door of shut ins?  What does the track record of your meeting mean about the health of the meeting? This does not even consider ministering to non-Friends up-close and personal.

Food for thought--

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