Friday, 18 May 2007

Joy and Sadness

Tonight my husband and I were part of something that I can only call holy. One of the ministers my husband supervises is Ana. She is the pastor of a Brazilian congregation in his district. She has a wonderful, supportive husband and a beautiful teenage daughter. She has been very effective in her ministry here and has done much to further the Kingdom.

Ana was diagnosed with cancer about a year ago while in Brazil on a mission trip. She was so sick they did not think she would come home, but she did. She was determined to beat this. She fought hard and continued to be in ministry.

Ana has already received her Master of Divinity degree since coming to the US and was to be commissioned as a Probationary member of our conference in June, which is the precursor to being ordained. However, today Ana was moved into hospice care. My husband asked our Bishop if he would commission her now and he agreed.

Tonight we gathered in the chapel of the Hospice facility. The Bishop of Brazil just "happened" to be in town this week and was able to be in attendance as well as Ana's pastor from Brazil. God is so good. About 25 of us sat and watched as Ana answered the questions she was asked. Her response...."I will, with God's help". There were tears in our eyes.

As I sat there I was reminded, once again, how much God cares for us. Ana is gravely ill and yet the desire of her heart, to be recognized for her work and receive her commission, was met. She smiled and greeted each one of us. There was such joy on her face and there was joy in the room as we rejoiced with her. But, of course, there was great sadness. Sadness for the pain she is experiencing, for the pain her family is going through and for the pain those of us who love her are feeling.

This was a Holy moment. God was there. It was an honor to be a part of it. It was a glimpse of the divine.

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