As a pastor I've very used to the hospital. I've spent time visiting in Jackson, in Memphis, in Tupelo and in nearly every every major hospital in Mississippi.
But, in past few months, I've had a different perspective. My mom has had to undergo a couple of surgeries. Nothing major, thankfully, but she's been in the hospital more the past few months than at any point in my life.
And, mama is also 80. I was raised by my grandparents (long story) and they are in great health. But, 80 is 80 and when she is put to sleep, I'll be honest if you don't start getting nervous.
So, for the first in my life, I've come to the hospital in a different position. Not as a patient. Not as a pastor. But, as a son.
I like being a pastor much, much better.
Maybe it's just want I'm used to. Now, there are advantages in being just a son. For instance, I didn't shave today. Also, I'm wearing blue jeans and my favorite Ole Miss pull over. I forgot my hat at home, or I'd be wearing a hat too. So, I'm pretty comfortable.
And, there is that feeling about not worrying about others. When you are pastor, your concern is your church member. How are they? Do they need anything? Do you need to lift their spirits? Pray? Quote scripture?
Today, I've watched part of the Cotton Bowl, read the paper, checked my email. Blogged (what I'm doing right now).
I haven't had to worry about providing care to anyone.
And, that's the problem. As a pastor, I have something to do. A job. A purpose. I can be helpful.
As a son, I feel helpless. Sure, I can pray like I always do. I can stay busy. I can do lots. But, it's different.
As a son, I wait. I fret. I worry. I pace.
As a pastor, I'm calm and relaxed. Confident.
As a son. I worry.
I really do love what I am called to do and who I'm called to be. And, I know as a son the things that I know as a pastor. I know God is at work, God is here, God's grace is always there.
But, I get so busy taking care of others that I don't have to worry about things myself.
And, perhaps, it's not just preachers that do that. Perhaps we get so busy living life that we can forget to remember things we know.
God is good. God is at work. God is here, even know.
So, the pastor and son are not that different. And maybe, just maybe, we all have that same battle within us.
And, maybe, just maybe, God understands, knows, and loves us anyway.