I work as a pastoral care nurse in a residential aged-care facility and in the community. My role includes support of the people who reside there, their families, the staff and volunteers. Not only older people, not only Christians; but people from all different backgrounds, beliefs and lifestyles. My role in pastoral care means that I walk alongside people.
In Luke 24:13–34 Jesus walks alongside two disciples on the road to Emmaus.
Read verses 13–19. How did Jesus show he was interested in what they were talking about? What sort of detail did the two disciples go into?
When you have had a difficult or perplexing experience, who do you talk to? If you are a listener, how can you show you are engaged in the discussion with the other person?
Read verses 19–24.
What sort of detail did the two disciples go into here when they were giving their account of what happened? What sort of hopes and expectations did they have? Were their expectations fulfilled?
How much detail do you hear when you are listening to someone’s account of an event? How do you cope when your expectations do not come to fruition? Who do you talk to when your expectations are not met?
Read verses 25–29.
Who explained the full picture? What do you think the disciples’ reactions would have been?
Do you think the discussion went on or was it just explanation?
Why do you think they invited Jesus to stay with them even when they did not recognise who he was?
When someone asks for support do you accept the invitation? Or decline? Or think about it first?
Read verses 30–34. All of a sudden, the penny drops, and they recognise Jesus!
How does gathering over food and/or drink enhance our relationships?
How do you feel when you look back on a situation? Where do you see God’s hand? Is Jesus revealed as you walk alongside others?
We talk about mission and ministry a lot in the LCA. Walking alongside our colleagues, our workmates, people we may not know so well and others we know very well is part of our mission and ministry in life.
How do we do that well? Do you have the skills? What skills do you need?
Bringing a listening ear is a good start. Be a listener even to the hard stuff. Sometimes people just need to give voice to their thoughts to check whether they are valid. There is often no need to fix or change things. Just listen and, if you are a doer, sit on your hands!
I believe that God gave me two ears and one mouth for a reason. To listen more than I talk. On the flipside, if you are a listener make sure you have someone who will listen to you. Reflection is good for us all.
The song I really love to go with this reading is ‘Make me a channel of your peace’ (The prayer of St Francis). Have a listen to the lyrics next time you have the opportunity.
Angela Uhrhane is Pastoral Care Nurse at Lutheran Aged Care Albury in New South Wales.
This feature story comes from The Lutheran June 2019. Visit the website to find out more about The Lutheran or to subscribe.
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