Piggybacking off of my post from several days ago...We were headed to an ordination service this past Sunday afternoon when traffic into the town we were going to came to a halt.
Ahead, I could see the flashers of a police cruiser. We were only five cars back in the growing traffic jam. With the incident, whatever it was, so fresh, I decided to see if there was any help I could provide.
I approached an SUV, which had clearly swerved out of control, then flipped over, its passenger side now resting on the pavement. The EMS had not yet arrived, but in addition to the police, several people were already on the scene to help.
Three men had clambered onto the SUV and opened the driver's door. I was wearing my collar, which of course, to some people makes me look like a priest.
One of the fellows working to extract a woman still strapped inside the SUV spotted me approaching and bellowed out in a voice filled with enthusiasm and relief, "Hello, Father! No fatalities!"
Before I had spoken a word, that Good Samaritan saw in the collar associated with my office as pastor, a sign of God's presence and concern for people.
If any voice I've ever heard in my life registered joy and gratitude beyond the words it spoke, it was that man's voice. He was inviting me to celebrate with him! And the collar I wore signaled to him that God was ready to be with people in suffering and death, as well as in joy and life...and in celebration!
To be privileged with the the particular ministry that God has given to me--and God gives a ministry to every Christian--is a blessing and deeply gratifying. The moment that man called out, "Hello, Father! No fatalities!" was, for me, one of gratification and blessing.
Thank You, Lord!
[Blogger Mark Daniels is pastor of Living Water Lutheran Church in Centerville, Ohio.]