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Comments

Matt Tapie

Jim,
Such a good post. Thank you for calling us to be more sensitive and loving toward others. Your post reminds me of Nouwen's "ministry of presence" and Brother Lawrence's The Practice of the Presence of God. I appreciate your ministry through this blog-keep writing!

p.s. I noticed that you are currently reading Brian McLaren's A Generous Orthodoxy. There is a good series on Christianity and postmodernity on my friend Bret Wells's blog: www.bretwells.blogspot.com

Matt Tapie

Jim,
Such a good post. Thank you for calling us to be more sensitive and loving toward others. Your post reminds me of Nouwen's "ministry of presence" and Brother Lawrence's The Practice of the Presence of God. I appreciate your ministry through this blog-keep writing!

p.s. I noticed that you are currently reading Brian McLaren's A Generous Orthodoxy. There is a good series on Christianity and postmodernity on my friend Bret Wells's blog: www.bretwells.blogspot.com

Greg England

Listening and hearing ... what an incredible gift to give another!

Jack Holt

Reminds me of the old song, "The Sound of Silence"

"Silence like a cancer grows."

When I don't know what to say I often just try to hug. When I don't know the person well enough to hug then I just try to touch them in an effort to let them know I care.

Jim Martin

Thanks Matt...And thank you for your link to your friend's blog. I look forward to going there. Thanks for the kind words.

Jim Martin

Thanks Gregg and Jack for your words. I had forgotten the words to that song Jack.

brett

hi jim

on a more trivial note, i also hate it that so many of my friends never contact me to arrange a meet... of course, it could just be because they don't want to see me, but all the evidence points to the fact that they are busy and disorganised... they simply don't get around to doing stuff

i reached a point a few years ago where i decided not to get fed up about it, and if i want to make a point, or talk something through, i arrange a date to meet people face-to-face... i know this isn't always possible, however, just because people don't respond doesn't always mean they don't care...

jan mckenzie

You've touched the very heart of ministry.

I'm reminded of Elijah in his cave, hiding from the world, in fear for his life, yet wanting to die. Not in the fire, not in the whirlwind, but in the "thin silence" God spoke.

I fully agree with what you say, Jim. I simply want to posit hope for those without human helpers, however badly we need them. I have come to believe, with Luther, that God is revealed in suffering. And that our suffering is often the result of both his hiddenness and his revelation. Not because God is cruel but because he is so "other" than us.

While such thoughts are part of "incarnational ministry", that God took flesh to bridge that gap and reveal his love, the incarnation is incomplete without stripping away his flesh that in his humiliation and suffering we would see the deepest aspect of God's character: self-sacrificing love. We are presented a paradox that unfolds to the eye of faith.

Jesus himself, in Gethsemene, needed his friends to "watch" with him, but when they failed, being "weak" in the flesh, Christ pressed himself to the earth and waited and prayed and suffered. He drank the cup.

This has been a life saving theology for my own life. Christ came to me in my prodigal stagnation when no one else could bear the stench.

Thank you for such a positive, real ministry.

Jim Martin

Thanks Jan regarding your good comments regarding incarnational ministry.

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