Appeal to Give: Burdens

I have the privilege of seeing many amazing moments that I believe demonstrate the heart of our mission at Heritage Ministries.

Sunday afternoons at one of our skilled nursing facilities involves me grabbing my guitar, and “caroling” throughout the building – pulling residents together, sharing a few songs, a scripture verse and a word of prayer.

It is powerful to watch the responses that come with residents hearing and singing some old hymns. One gentleman in our connections unit was beginning to experience physical weakness. His particular condition made it challenging for him to use his strength and sit up straight. These particular challenges were very recent for him. One of our older staff encouraged a new, young staff person to sit with him, put her arm around him, support him and encourage him.

I took in what a humbling introduction this must have been for her; to do the very basic work of holding someone up. What was going through her mind in those moments? What was going through the heart of this resident, who simply needed help in that moment? As I was reflecting on these things, they were mirrored in the song we were singing at that exact moment: Through this world of toils and snares, if I falter, Lord who cares? Who with me my burden shares?

What a miracle. The embarrassing moments of weakness that all of us have, these are burdens God actually cares about and shares with us. And in that moment, I saw the caring act of burden-sharing happening before my eyes. This was cemented all the more when he looked at this young staff person and simply said, “Thank you.”

Heritage Ministries provides communities where the act of burden-sharing happens every day. It can be humbling, uncomfortable work. And it is also glorious. We share the great privilege of holding each other up! These are truly miraculous moments.

Your prayers, your giving, your partnership with us make it happen. Thank you!

by Larry Petry, Senior Chaplain