Tag Archives: health

31-Day Writing Challenge—Day 5 :: Patient


By now I know, from the general theme of these writing challenges, that the spirit of today’s prompt is an adjective referring to forbearance, not a noun describing a doctor’s client. But this is my blog, my writing, my imagination, and I’m going to take it where I want.

There is of course a connection between the adjective and the noun. After all, a patient must be patient; at least, it helps … how often have you had to wait (hopefully patiently) for the doctor? How often have I had to wait over these past four months?

It’s been a rough summer in our family, health-wise. We’ve spent a lot of time waiting—in doctor’s offices, having medical procedures, waiting for test results. And in the emergency room … don’t even get me started! I’ve theorized, based on three ER visits in as many days (or nights) that it doesn’t really matter when you arrive at the ER; you won’t be released until three o’clock in the morning.

And in our case, that release came with precious little help: no answers, so suggestions, no solutions. In short, since death wasn’t imminent, we simply waited. And waited. And waited.

I get it. The ultimate purpose of an emergency department is to keep people alive long enough to get more long-term care. And if there’s no indication that you’re knocking on death’s door, you’re pretty much the lowest priority. Even if it feels like death is knocking on your door.

And that’s how it felt for a while. And when we got help, it always came with the same message: this is going to take a while. But when you don’t feel good, you want to get better … now. Healing is slow. Be patient. But it’s hard being patient. It’s hard being a patient. It’s hard being a patient patient.

The amazing thing is, they were right. Healing is coming. It’s not complete, but it’s getting better. Not better enough (yet), but still a lot better.

Healing is slow. Whether it’s a broken arm or cancer; a broken heart or abuse … healing is slow. Be patient. With the people helping you heal, with the process, with yourself. Be patient.

This entry is part of the 31-Day Writing Challenge 2021 from Five Minute Friday.

What I Want for the Church


As I have searched for a Lead Pastor role, I have been asked a lot of different questions. One of the best was this one: In what area or areas are you passionate about seeing the American church change or move forward?

I am passionate about seeing the American church grow in health, unity, and mission.

Health is primarily a local church issue. Unhealthy churches cannot produce healthy fruit (see Matthew 7:17-18). For a church to be healthy, it must have a healthy pastor and healthy leaders. This doesn’t mean everyone in the church needs to be healthy, for as Jesus also said, “it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” But for the church to be effective, the church itself must be healthy.

Unity is one health factor at the local level. There must be unity among the leaders, and the congregation must be united behind them. But unity is also needed across the spectrum of Christian faith: local churches need to unite to impact their communities; denominations and other regional and national church associations need to unite to impact their regions, the nation, and the world. A divided church at any level will not accomplish the world-transforming mission of God.

Mission is possible when churches are healthy and united. The mission of the Church—stated even more simply than “make disciples of all peoples”—is to Love God and Love People. This mission is lived out both locally in our communities and globally as we partner with, serve, and learn from the church in other parts of the world.

Why am I passionate about this? Because I have felt and seen the great pain caused by the American church. I am passionate because for too long, the American church has been marked by division and a separatist attitude that have increasingly driven people away from Jesus more than drawn them to Him. We have complained about our nation’s moral nosedive but have been helpless to stop it—not because we have been unable to elect Christ-following political leaders (see Jeremiah 17:5), but because we have not loved our neighbors. When the American church recognizes and acknowledges its own sickness, it can take the steps needed to get healthy; and when the church gets healthy, we will be able to unite behind God’s mission…enabling a far greater Kingdom impact on our nation and the world.