There is one thing that I learned from SMI: God works through every single person differently.
He works through me and you in different ways, in ways that reflect the types of person we are. It is this way with every person that opens their door to our team of volunteers. We never know what each person has experienced. In the past day, week, or year. Triumphs or trials. All we know is that we were all created by God, and for God, and commonly united in Him. Knowing this commonality among all people, it makes it easy to knock on doors.
I remain confident of this: I will seek the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. ~Psalm 27: 13
Many of the patients that we encounter have been through difficult situations. There is one woman in particular that remains in my heart. We knocked on her door multiple times, and after a few minutes she finally heard us. When she opened the door, we were immediately struck the strong smell of Pinesol and Jesus. She was dusting, and blaring Christian gospel music. She showed us her husbands awards from the military covering every free space on the wall. She showed us pictures of her sons, one of which was incarcerated. Even though her son was locked up in jail, she still had hope. She knew that God was with her, her family, and her son no matter what. It amazed me that through such a difficult situation, her faith could sustain her and give her peace.
Some of the people that I have met in Northern Philadelphia have been suffering for a long time. I know that as medical professionals, we can provide medical attention to these individuals, but we will never be able to save them from death. The spiritual counseling that we give to these individuals has the potential to alter them from the inside out to give them eternal life through Jesus Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. ~2 Cor 4: 7-18
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By Katie Belleisle. © 2021 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org