Ben Franklin once said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.” As witty as and blunt as this comment seems, I feel it oversimplifies life experiences. At some point, we will all experience illness, worry, and hopelessness. As Christians, it is at these times that we reach out to God most fervently. As believers, we know God hears our prayers, worries, and fears, but He does not always answer in a way we can see or expect. But as I discovered when I was dealing with my own health crisis this past fall, sometimes an answer comes in the form of a Minister bearing an unexpected gift.
I was hospitalized twice this past fall due to asthma. It had been over fifteen years since I had had an asthma episode so bad I needed to be admitted. Obviously, I was worried. I was scared about my health, but I was also worried about my family – I was in the hospital and not at home where I belonged. When I was discharged from my first admission I was readmitted less than two weeks later. Now I was not only worried, I was feeling hopeless. That’s when Pastor Ray walked in with a prayer shawl.
From our website, “The prayer shawl ministry consists of a small group of dedicated ladies who knit or crochet shawls crafted in Christian Love. These shawls bring comfort to those in need whether hospitalized, shut-in, dealing with the loss of a loved one or in need of Spiritual Healing.” As a recipient of a prayer shawl, I can say that I was overwhelmed with the unexpected gift. As a fellow crocheter, I could appreciate the time and talent that went into creating the shawl I received. Even though I had never met the woman who created the shawl, and realized she had not created it for “me,” as soon as I wrapped it around my shoulders, I felt comforted. This unexpected gift provided me with warmth, love, and hope.
I have decided to volunteer my time and talents to crochet for this ministry to provide comfort, hope, and love to someone else who needs it. If you crochet or knit and would like to participate in the prayer shawl ministry, please contact the Church Office at (708) 349-0431 or Vivian Kockler at (708) 560-3404.