Galatians 6:2 – Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ. (NIV)
Several years ago, I became a palliative care volunteer in our local area. At first, I wasn't sure about all that this would entail, or how I could help the dying, but I did know what it was like to face death, and I knew how important it was to have loving support during this final journey. During my visits, I learned about treating the patients as respected friends, talking and sharing when they felt up to a visit, listening when they wanted to talk, and offering ice cubes or a cup of water when their lips were parched. I was able to accompany my new friends as they made their final journey. God gave me a special love for these people.
I've had the joy of seeing a smile light up the face of a former music teacher, when I brought a keyboard to her room, and the privilege of participating in workshops where I've shared some of my experiences with new volunteers. However, the most impressive thing I learned from my experiences happened when I was a new volunteer. During those early visits, I learned that I was not alone. I had the support of a whole team of medical staff and spiritual advisors, a team of marvellous, caring people, and together we found that we could make a difference in someone's life.
As Christians, we know that the sting of death has been removed by Christ's provision for us in His gift of eternal life. However, we still need the loving support of the team, family, and spiritual leaders, as we take each step towards our heavenly home.
Prayer: Dear God, help us each to become a supportive member of Your team, as we encourage one another in our homes, our churches, and our world. Amen.