Well, inevitably Covid paid Christine and myself a visit and has taken a long time to completely leave, however the good news is we were totally up to date with our vaccines and it never developed into a serious problem. We have both been careful about wearing masks and have staved off the virus for a long time, but finally succumbed.
Christine has started to show at an artist cooperative gallery in downtown Sarasota and has already had some sales. This is showing her symbolic figurative painting rather than her icons, and the first to sell was of an egret standing in the mist, a wonderful painting. She also has been busy with the icons with new sales and a large commission for a Californian fellowship. Again she taught an online class where the students all worked on the archangel Michael killing Satan, also a beautiful icon.
Leaving church last week I overheard a conversation when someone said, ‘I want him to know that I really care for his situation, but I do not want to get drawn into an extended conversation.’ I thought to myself, that comes up so often in ministering with people. How to seriously engage and then appropriately finish, without being offensive or using all your energy on one person. The only right answer to that is we go as the Holy Spirit leads us. Each situation of ministry is going to be different and each person needs a unique focus of attention. To some degree a minister has to assess very quickly, in affect, do a spiritual triage; what degree of suffering is this person in and what is the best way for me to help or pray for them.
Mass medical triages situations where time is so important, like a train wreck, medics asses then assign a color coding: Black, for those expired, so leave where they lie; Red, absolute emergency where immediate medical attention could save their lives; Yellow, delayed serious injuries, after stabilizing which can wait; Green, are the walking wounded, for minor injuries.
In ministering spiritually, the presenting issues are often caused by trauma experienced sometime ago, possibly in the formative years of development and are well hidden or forgotten when someone asks, ‘What or how, can I pray for you?’ When there is time, we gather as much background on the person’s situation as possible, handing that to the Holy Spirit for direction. Without time, we just go directly to the Holy Spirit with love, calling on Jesus Christ for healing. Quite often the presenting issue has become a health issue, especially with the elderly which I minister to primarily. They have been going to a medical doctor for so long for that diagnosis there is no idea, no belief, no thought that God could heal them through prayer. Consequently there is little hunger to receive prayer, or it is accepted as a social nicety from an enthusiastic chaplain. In which case I have to remember, this is God working, not me. Thank goodness.
2 Corinthians 3:5-6.
“Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
Please keep us in your prayers and let us know how we can pray for you.
Love and Prayers,
Christine and Michael Micael’s Photography Christine’s Art Work