I wondered if some of you might be interested in what is going through my mind as such an opportunity arises. Here are immediate thoughts:
- This man is in a stunning situation. I want to help him. And I must be prepared to accept the fact I am not one he wishes to see.
- A visit with him may be nothing more than, "Checking on you to see if you would like me to pray."
- This one may be afraid and doesn't have a clue where to begin this frightening trek. I will ask him if he is afraid.
- If the door remains open, I will share with him that I don't know a lot of things; but the few things which I do know, I would be happy to share with him if he would think such useful.
- I will listen closely to his response. He may be frank and close the communication immediately. He may be courteous; but brush off the gesture. Or, he may welcome my help. I will watch for his signals and respond with love accordingly.
- If there is immediate rejection I will plant the seed of, "You are welcome to call me if down the road you would ever like to just have someone listen to your concerns." Often even after rejecting my first visit, I receive a call once they have had time to weigh these sobering days; plus the fact I was polite and seemed to truly care goes a long way when they do reconsider.
- If there is invitation, I will talk with him in the hospital or after he gets home and share the great passages on how to think, what to think about, and how to survive such mental intrusion of terminal illness.
- I will let God lead the way and I will not try to run past Him. I will only go through the open doors and patiently wait for closed ones to crack. And, the latter often does.