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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Watch with me

Some articles touch a nerve. In February The Lutheran published the first in a two-part series about living with chronic illness. It quickly yielded an E-mail from a reader: "Your article titled 'I'll never be well again' spoke volumes to me. ... In the beginning folks came and talked and prayed, but after awhile they had lives to live also. I have had only three pastoral visits in the past year. ... I was told it was necessary to let my pastor know if I wanted a call. [Now I feel] isolated--from God, others and myself. I am coming to grips with the fact that I will never be the same. I wish I had a pastor to help me."

Ministry with those who struggle with chronic conditions is hardly the responsibility of pastors alone. As the church journeys with Jesus toward the events of Holy Week, we are drawn into deeper friendship with our Lord so his ways become ours, his loves ... our loves, his hurts ... our hurts. Friendship with Jesus takes us through Galilee on sunny days but also into the Garden of Gethsemane where he pleads, "Can you wait and watch here with me?"

On our Lenten journey we need to listen to those, like our letter-writer, in whom Jesus pleads for compassion. Such are the places where he invites us into deeper intimacy with himself. If you need help with this ministry, read "Where I find healing" (page 16). It offers ways you can serve those who suffer from chronic conditions.

Now ... there's someone I need to call.

David L. Miller's signature


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November issue

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