I spent a few minutes of my day in a vulnerable part of this family's day. They are stepping into fear, loss of control, and so many other emotions. Yet, for this moment in time, we stand in a circle and these people allow me into their lives. I get to speak to God on their behalf at this tender time. Many prayers have and will be lifted by each family member over the reason we stand in this waiting room. And I have the privilege of joining the chorus of voices.
This is what it means to be a pastor. It is not easy, it is sometimes uncomfortable and it definitely is not fun. However, sometimes it is the most important thing I will do with my day. Fifteen minutes before the sun has even appeared on the horizon.
My emotions call me to wish this moment away. For this family to not have to take that yellow card and check in at the desk in the middle of the room. Part of me desires to be able to pray away all the anxiety and be able to tell them "it is going to be fine". Yet, the truth is, I don't know what lies ahead. I don't even know what lied behind. I know this moment. I know God is in this moment. I know whatever is to come, God is there. For a moment I get to speak this truth into a life.
This is what it means to be a pastor.
I have no answers. I don't even really know the questions. I can crack a joke and we will laugh through the tears that fill some of our eyes. They will politely ask me questions about my life and I will answer. What does this fifteen minutes mean?
It means I get to be a pastor.
I may not get all the words right and it may be awkward at times. The family has a long day ahead of them in this building as I get to start my car and drive away. However, God is there and for that moment I get to be a part of it.
At least for fifteen minutes.